What is VG and what is PG?
Vegetable Glycerin, or VG, is a thick, odorless and colorless food grade chemical deemed safe for human consumption by the FDA. It is often used to sweeten candies and you likely consume this on a daily basis outside of vaping. It (and Propylene Glycol) are also often used in fog machines.
In vape juice, adding more VG will cause the juice to produce a denser cloud than it otherwise would. High VG e-liquid is often preferred by people who want to produce the biggest clouds possible.
Propylene Glycol, on the other hand, is thin and has a viscosity slightly higher than water. It's another food grade chemical that is found in everyday items such as toothpaste.
The purpose of PG in your e-liquid is to carry the flavor, as the flavorings in e-liquid bind to PG much more easily than VG. Higher PG juices produce a slightly less dense cloud and have a slightly harsher throat hit, the flavor is also stronger.
Finding the right ratio for your vape
Different people's tastes will cause them to prefer different ratios, but the best starting point should be based on the vape you already use. POD devices such as the Smok Nord use a much lower wattage, and the e-Liquid's used in these vapes tend to have higher PG percentages, such as 50/50.
People using higher wattage, sub-ohm devices like an RDA or Tank may want to consider starting with more VG in their e-Liquid, such as a 70/30 mix.
The reason lower power devices use higher PG juices is that these e-Liquid's are thinner, closer to water. The high viscosity of VG can mean the cotton in your coil may not saturate with liquid fully, causing dry and burned hits.
Finding the right ratio for your preferences
Even though you and your friend may own the exact same vape, you may prefer a different VG/PG ratio from them.
- Cloud Density - e-Liquid's with higher amounts of VG will produce a much thicker and denser cloud than high PG juice. If you are looking to be stealthy in public using juice with more PG is a must.
- Throat Hit - Higher amounts of PG will increase the throat hit of the e-Liquid, making it feel more like smoking a traditional cigarette.
- Flavor - Propylene Glycol is a better flavor carrier than Vegetable Glycerin, and e-Liquid's with ratios of more PG will tend to have a slightly stronger flavor
- Allergies - Unfortunately, some people may be allergic to either PG or VG. While PG tends to be the more common allergy, VG allergies also exist. If you are allergic to one of these 2 substances, 100% VG or 100% PG lines of e-Liquid are available.
The Most Common VG/PG Ratios
The most common VG/PG ratio is probably 70/30. If you've ever purchased juice without thinking twice about its ratio, it was likely 70/30. Before POD devices exploded this was the norm for most in-house e-Juice manufacturers as well.
It produces a good sized cloud, and the e-Liquid is not overly thick. 30% PG also allows for sufficient flavor on a sub-ohm device and didn't cause too much irritation for most people.
In the past 12 months, 50/50 (or ratios close by, such as 60/40 and 55/45) have become increasingly popular. This is mostly due to people transitioning from traditional vapes to the more discreet and cigarette-like POD devices. These lower power devices need the extra PG to carry the flavor and needed thinner e-Liquid to stay properly wicked (saturated, not dry).
VG/PG ratio is something many vapers don't ever think about when doing, but for those who decide to look for information about it, you'll find it simple to understand the differences between ratios.
Those who prefer more flavor or a stronger throat hit may want more PG in their e-Liquid. While those who vape at high wattages and want to produce a large cloud may consider vaping a higher VG ratio.
Overall, most peoples VG/PG preference is highly personal and varies person to person, even if they use the same vape and flavor.