E-cigs were developed with the notion that people could enjoy smoking without the harmful side effects of tar and nicotine. Smokers are taking heed that e-cigs are less harmful, less messy, and more enjoyable than a package of regular cigarettes.
E-cigs give smokers their choice of nicotine strength. With delicious flavors like strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, and more, smokers enjoy that deep throat hit without the horrible smell, unsightly stained teeth, and nagging smoker’s cough that cigarettes cause.
Read on and learn more about how PG stacks up against VG and how to get the most tasteful, enjoyable vaping experience.
What Exactly is PG?
PG is an acronym for propylene glycol. It is a byproduct of petroleum that is commonly found in asthma inhalers, pet food, and medical products. It is also used as an ingredient in health and beauty products like makeup, shampoos, and baby wipes.
It’s safe to use propylene glycol orally or topically and you can inject it into your skin. As vaping has come on the smoking scene, PG is also commonly used as a vaping liquid.
What are the Risks Associated with PG vs. VG?
If you point to any substance, you can also point to risks that are associated with it.
The same is true for PG, though none of the risks are life threatening or harmful. In fact, most of them aren’t even long-lasting.
Most research surrounding the safety of PG tested it when ingested, rather than as an inhalant.
A long-term experiment on PG was conducted in 1947 that showed that PG was completely harmless. The FDA also evaluated PG and could not find any current or potential future harmful effects of PG. The FDA notes that PG is safe when taken orally and as a food additive.
PG has not shown the same safety results in animals, particularly in cats. PG is generally safe when used as an additive in pet food for dogs. PG has been linked to Heinz body anemia in cats, so you may want to avoid vaping around your pet cats.
Beginner vapor users may experience side effects. One of the biggest side effects is dry mouth or sore throats caused by dehydration. Dehydration and bacteria entering the mouth with the mouthpiece can also cause painful canker sores.
There is also a slight possibility of an allergic reaction in some people. These side effects are usually temporary and can be treated by increasing your water consumption and keeping yourself adequately hydrated.
If you experience any other side effects, they could be due to withdrawal from stopping cigarette smoking.
Is PGE the Same as PG?
PGE is not the same as PG. It’s also important to know that PGE is not as harmless as PG.
PGE is a mix of propylene glycol and glycol ethers, which is used as an additive in food and health and beauty products. A study by Harvard University and Sweden’s Kalstad University showed a potential link between PGEs and asthma, eczema, and allergies in children.
What Exactly is VG?
You may never have heard of VG, or vegetable glycerin, but chances are that you’ve ingested it on a regular basis because it is routinely added to thousands of food products. As the name suggests, the base for VG is derived from vegetables.
VG is an odorless and clear liquid that is produced from plant oils. Palm oil, soy oil, and coconut oil are the most commonly used oils in making VG. Palm and coconut oils have natural triglycerides which form a chemical reaction with glycerin.
There are no known side effects of VG, making it slightly safer than PG.
This video gives a more detailed explanation about the differences between PG and VG. It also gives a nice overview of the safety and side effects of PG an VG.
Making the PG vs. VG Comparison
Three factors create the differences between PG and VG that are likely to help you narrow down your preferences in vaping e-liquid . They are:
- Intensity of throat hit
- Intensity of flavors
- Viscosity of vapors
Upon visual inspection, you’ll notice that PG and VG are both colorless and odorless. If popularity matters when it comes to measuring PG or VG, PG takes a strong lead.
PG is less viscous than VG, which makes your puffs of vapors thinner and less billowy than with VG. PG will give you a stronger throat hit, which mimics the sensation caused by smoking tobacco. Because PG is less viscous than VG, it tends to carry flavor more effectively than VG.
Your wick will absorb PG faster than VG because it has a thinner consistency.
PG has a thinner consistency, which is rather like water. VG is slightly thicker with a consistency more like oil. VG doesn’t have as heavy of a throat hit as PG, but it will give off higher viscosity of vapors. VG requires more power to create the vapors. If you turn up your vaporizer too high, or if it’s not properly regulated, you may end up with a burnt-tasting vapor experience.
The thicker consistency of VG may cause a gooey buildup of phlegm in your throat and a sticky buildup of gunk on your heating element or vaporizer. VG e-liquid has a slight sweet taste, which makes other flavors more difficult to detect.
VG is derived from raw vegetables, which makes it less allergenic than PG e-liquids.
In most cases, the PH level of e-liquid will be on the side of alkaline. Because the ingredients of the e-liquid, such as PG / VG are all alkalescent, it evens the flavor concentrate. So you can use some acidic juice or flavor concentrate, such as Lemon juice or Orange juice to counteract it.
Don’t forget to test the PH level after you added those acidic juices into your e-liquid. Enjoy vaping and vaping healthily.
How PH factors in PG vs. VG
To get the best tasting vape, it helps to know a little about chemistry. Chemicals are classified as a base or an acid. Bases and acids can be balanced out by adding one to the other. PH ranges from 0-14. Vinegars and lemon juice are common examples of acids. Ammonia, milk of magnesia, and lye are all examples of bases.
Think of water as a neutral substance having a pH level of 7. If you add a substance to the water that has a pH of less than 7 it is acidic. If you add a substance with a pH of more than 7, the substance will be basic (or alkaline) if you add a substance that has a pH over 7.
Your e-juice needs to have a balanced pH level, usually between 6 and 8, for great-tasting vapors. Use alkaline test strips or litmus paper to test your e-liquid for acidity.
Understanding PG vs. VG Ratios and Mixing
If this information has left you wondering if PG and VG can be mixed, the answer is yes, and they usually are. If you don’t know where to start with VG vs. PG, try a mixture of 50/50. This will give you quality exhales and a decent throat hit.
For increased vapors and a decreased throat hit, try a ratio of 20 VG and 80 PG. Some vape users like a ratio of 70 VG and 30 PG better.
If you are highly allergic, don’t be afraid to go full steam with 100% VG. Experienced vape users that enjoy the sport of competitive cloud chasing perform their best with 100% VG e-liquid.
If you prefer less vapor and a stronger throat hit, try using PG at 100% strength.
Concluding Thoughts on Vaping with PG and VG
Besides the health hazards of cigarette smoking, there is a risk of fire damage to clothing and household furnishings. Vaporizers don’t use fire, so there is no risk of falling asleep with a lit cigarette in your hand and risking losing your home and other belongings in a house fire.
Lack of fire and ashes also means that you can usually vape in public spaces without violating smoking bans and you won’t bother most people around you with pesky second-hand smoke. You’ll also alleviate the risk of little ones who grab lighters and risk burning themselves.
The health risks of cigarettes are increasingly encouraging state and local governing bodies to create new laws and taxes on cigarettes to discourage their use.
In many parts of the country, smoking has become an addictive habit with a high cost. Vaping is far less costly than cigarette smoking. One e-cig cartridge has about the same amount of nicotine as two packages of tobacco cigarettes. Cigarette smokers may be able to save about 50% by switching to e-cigarettes.