What Is the Right E-Liquid PG/VG Ratio?
What is the Right PG to VG Ratio for E-Liquid?
I seem to find more often than not, that certain questions about E-Cigarettes fall into one of two categories. There is either a definite/fact based answer (such as how do I calculate wattage), or questions like this one which is best answered with “it depends”. In most cases, the balance of PG (Propylene Glycol) to VG (Vegetable Glycerin) in your e-liquid comes down to a personal preference. However, there are some “general” truths, when it comes to PG and VG in e-liquid. I call these “general” truths as you will find these are generally accepted by most vapers to be true, and not generally argued too much. So, lets start at the top and work down.
PG or VG Allergies.
Are you allergic to PG or VG? This is a good question to know the answer to right away as it will have the biggest impact on what ratio will be right for you. More often than not, the PG in e-liquid is the culprit for those who are allergic, although VG is possible but less commonly noted by vapers. Allergies to PG are said to be rare, but there are an ample number of people in the vaping community who have said they are allergic to the PG in e-liquid. Some health resources state that likelihood of a PG allergy can be increased if you have exzema, which is good to keep in mind and take into account. If you know you are allergic to PG or VG this will impact what ratio is right for you. Those with allergies will generally try and find juices with a higher (or the highest depending on their sensitivity) of PG or VG, depending on their allergy. It’s also important to note that sometimes symptoms of smoking withdrawal can mimic or create the impression of an allergy: coughing/cold like symptoms, tingling, sweating, cramps, nausea and headaches. Steve K of Steve K’s Vaping World provided a good resource regarding smoking withdrawal symptoms. Be sure to check it out!
In the end it’s very important that you are not harming your health, so be sure to check with your healthcare professional if you believe your having an allergic reaction to either the PG or VG in your e-liquid. If it ends up you are not able to vape, be sure to check out the resources at CASAA for other harm reduction alternatives to smoking.
VG = Bigger clouds / PG = More flavor.
This is sometimes still an arguable point, but generally accepted by vapers. While flavor has a lot to do with how a juice is mixed and the amount used, it’s also generally accepted that PG tends to carry flavors better than VG. Many food flavor concentrates are made in PG, so are flavorings for e-liquid (in most cases they are the same flavorings). It’s also generally accepted that VG tends to mute or dull flavors. This flavor dulling can sometimes be overcome by the e-liquid maker by increasing the amount of flavoring, however, it’s not always a guarantee. It is generally the opposite when it comes to vapor production, and this is almost never argued about. VG creates thicker and larger clouds of vapor compared to PG. Again, there are things that e-liquid makers can do, but there is no guarantee.
So, in general most vapers try to find a balance between these two things that are to their liking. This is where you as the vaper needs to make some decisions. Do you tend to prioritize vapor over flavor, or maybe flavor over vapor? Well before you decide, lets throw another variable into the mix.
PG contributes to greater throat hit.
You know that feeling you got when you were a smoker pulling the smoke into your lungs, feeling it in the throat, that “thump”. Well, generally, higher PG e-liquid provides more throat hit than higher VG e-liquid. Again e-liquid mixologists have tricks up their sleeve that can help VG juices, but in general PG contributes to greater throat hit.
Thickness is a factor.
Juices high in VG are generally thicker (think corn syrup, okay maybe not that thick but thick) The thickness of the liquid will have an impact on your vape, depending on your equipment. Based on my experience, vapers who use a tank system generally have a more difficult time getting high VG e-liquid to wick properly in their equipment ending up with “dry puff” (burning taste). Dripping atomizers however take very well to the thicker juice, reducing leakage (sometimes) and better wick adherence. Again, an e-liquid makers can thin VG juices somewhat, but not always. So depending on your equipment it’s something to consider. You may want to consider a higher PG content if you use tanks, and higher VG content if you drip.
So, where to go from here?
While I can’t tell you exactly what you will like here is some guidance I have given fellow vapers based on their vapor, throat hit, vapor preferences:
- If you prefer Vapor over flavor and throat hit – High VG (60% or higher VG)
- If you prefer Flavor and throat hit over vapor – High PG (60% or higher PG)
- If you aren’t sure split the difference – 50/50 (50% PG 50% VG)
- If you are using a tank, consider a higher PG content such as 40-60%
So what do I like? Right now, 50%PG 50%VG in my tanks and 30%PG and 70%VG in my drippers.
What ratio do you like?
Vape Loud, Vape Proud!