Vegetable Glycerin Explained
Vegetable glycerin, also referred to as vegetable glycerol, is a vegetable based liquid used in a wide range of products, including vape liquids. It is usually made from coconut oil, palm oil, soybean oil but can also be made from other more expensive oils like rapeseed.
Vegetable glycerin (VG) is clear, odourless and has a slightly sweet taste. It has a consistency comparable to that of syrup.
In this blog we’ll explain how VG is used in E Liquids, the different volumes used in vapes and how this can affect your vaping experience.
What Is VG Found In?
Vegetable glycerin is used in a wide range of products from cosmetics to foods and even pharmaceuticals. It is used in skin care products and other toiletries and is even used in things like candles as a vegan alternative to beeswax.
VG is also the main ingredient alongside propylene glycol (PG) used in creating e-liquids for vapes. Vegetable glycerin is a thickening agent and is used to create vapour clouds when heated in a vape device and is generally considered to provide a smoother vaping experience than PG.
What’s The Difference Between VG and PG?
There are several differences between vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol and the two are used for different reasons in e-liquids.
Because VG is thicker than PG, it’s able to produce larger amounts of vapour when used at a higher ratio compared to PG. If you’re a cloud chaser or old school vaper, you’ll want to pick an e-liquid with a higher VG percentage. PG creates little to no clouds so it’s great if you’re looking to be more considerate or subtle about your vaping.
PG is predominantly used to create intense flavour. VG has its own subtle sugar taste which slightly lessens the intensity of added flavours when compared to the unflavoured PG.
As mentioned, VG has a thicker consistency compared to that of PG which is relatively thin. This means that not only do VG and PG burn at different rates, but VG is harder to clean out of vapes and can sometimes lead to more clogging. VG also becomes thicker at colder temperatures.
VG has a higher viscosity than that of PG and therefore it vaporises at a faster rate. VG also takes more power to atomise and so it requires a higher powered device or advanced vape kit to effectively turn into vapour. With VG having a higher viscosity it also means that coils burn out faster compared to PG which can vaporise slower and on a lower power setting.
PG tends to absorb much quicker into the wicking material inside a coil compared to VG due to its thin consistency. With VG you may have to wait several minutes to ensure the e-liquid is fully absorbed into the wick before vaping. If you vape before the liquid is fully absorbed this can lead to dry hits.
What Are The Benefits Of Using VG?
The main reason people opt for a VG dominant e-liquid is due to its ability to produce huge vapour clouds. It also offers a range of other benefits compared to PG such as a more subtle throat hit and smoother vaping experience.
If you don’t enjoy using pod or starter kits then you’ll also benefit from using VG dominant e-liquids as they are more suited to advanced kits and Sub Ohm devices.
What Percentage Of VG Should I Vape?
The percentage of VG you choose for your e-liquid will depend on the experience you want from vaping. If your main priority is to create clouds as big as possible when vaping, then you’ll want to use a formula with a higher VG percentage. We’d recommend a 70/30 formula, (70% VG, 30% PG) to give you big vapour production whilst still maintaining flavour.
If you’re craving bold flavours and a smooth, more subtle vaping experience then its best to opt for a lower VG ecig liquid or an equal balance of VG and PG. A 50/50 mix is the ultimate balance of smoothness and flavour.
Is Vegetable Glycerine Safe To Vape?
Vegetable glycerin is recognised as a safe ingredient for use in foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics and is also safe to use in E Liquids. There has been no research to suggest that vegetable glycerin has caused any health issues or side effects when used in vapes.
As with every substance, VG has the potential to cause side effects or allergic reactions but this is extremely rare.
What Devices Should I Use For Different VG Levels?
50/50 E Liquids
If you’re using an e-liquid with equal VG and PG, you’ll want to use a lower powered or starter device. These come in a variety of different forms, but the best type of vape for 50/50 vape juice is a pod device.
Pod devices are simple and easy to use and usually contain a mesh coil that actually enhances the flavour of your e-liquid for an even more flavoursome vape experience.
A device like the Oxva Xlim Pro is brilliant for those who want to vape 50/50 after quitting smoking as it has a simple and easy beginner design. Simply fill the pods and pop them on and they’re ready to use.
70/30 E Liquids
If you’re looking to create big vapour clouds then you’ll want a Sub Ohm device or an advanced kit to use with your 70/30 vape juice. Just like a pod device, a good device for 70/30 e-liquids will also have a mesh coil, but these coils can be taken out and changed.
The Voopoo Drag 4 is a prime example of the type of vape you’d want for cloud chasers as it has the capacity for a wide range of coils at different ohms. Coils with different ohms affect the volume of vapour produced as well as the overall vaping experience, so more options for coils means more customisation for vapers.
We know getting your head around coils and ohms can be pretty tricky, that’s why we’ve got a handy vape coil guide to help explain everything.
When it comes to DIY E liquids there is no right or wrong answer of how much VG or PG to use, but there are general guidelines on how to make your own DIY eliquid as well as which ratios to use based on your desired vaping experience. If you want more clouds, you should use a formula with a higher amount of VG. If you’re looking for a more balanced experience you should aim for a similar ratio of PG and VG.
If you’re unsure on how to get the best mix for you, we’ve got a handy e-liquid mixing calculator that can help you get your measurements right.
What Makes A Good Quality VG?
The main factor that influences the quality of vegetable glycerin is the way it is sourced and the plant it is sourced from. Most VG is made using vegetable oil or palm oil, which is cheaper to produce but is extremely harmful to the environment.
At Vapoholic, all of VG e-liquids are made with rapeseed oil. This comes at a greater cost to us as manufacturers but it produces a more ethical and eco friendly product. Rapeseed oil is also vegan which means that more people with dietary requirements can still enjoy our delicious ecig liquids.
Hopefully by now we’ve answered all your questions on VG, but if you’ve still got questions, you can check out our beginner’s guide to vaping that covers everything you’ll come across when vaping.