E-Juice Numbers; What the hell do they mean?
When I first started vaping all I saw when I looked at e-juice was the pretty labels and tasty flavours. I had seen the little numbers on the side of the bottle but neglected to learn what they were. A few weeks into my vaping journey I asked what the numbers were actually for… mind blown. PG – VG Ratio’s… What the hell did that mean? I asked myself.
So here it is in black and white – what the hell those little numbers mean.
E-liquid consists of three primary ingredients: a base, nicotine, and flavouring.
The base is made from vegetable glycerine (VG), propylene glycol (PG), or a combo of the two. The most common base is a combination of VG and PG; however these rations vary with each brand.
I know they sound like scary chemicals but don’t freak out they’re not scary at all.
Vegetable Glycerin is a simple sugar alcohol compound. It is colourless, and odourless, and slightly sweet. VG is used in a ton of food products, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products that we use every day. Think Liqueurs, low-fat desserts, mouthwash, toothpaste, soap, the list goes on. (Food grade VG is used in these products so is safe for consumption) VG is much thicker in consistency then PG and therefore produces big clouds.
Propylene Glycol is colourless, odourless and tasteless. This liquid is also used in food products we consume every day; ice cream, coffee, beer, fizzy. PG is much thinner than VG, and as a result produces less vapour. The upside of this is the fluid doesn’t clog your atomiser as quickly. PG will also give you the ‘throat hit’ meaning it feels more like your smoking a cigarette.
The pros and cons of both PG and VG means that most e-juice makers combine the two to create a base for their e-juice. The most common ration is 70% PG to 30% VG, though these can vary to 50-50, 60-40 or anywhere else on the scale. The ratio will be listed on the bottle and look like a faction. Either side by side and separated by a / or on top of each other.
Finding what’s right for you is a matter of trial and error. If you’re looking for huge cloud try a juice with higher VG, just bear in mind that you’ll have to change your coils more often. If you’re not too concerned about clouds and prefer max flavour try something closer to 30% VG to 70% PG.
Now the flavouring…
Once a producer has created the base they add the flavour. Just like food flavouring there are three types of flavouring, natural, artificial, and a mix. Natural flavours are extracted from their natural source using various methods to make a concentrate. Artificial flavours are simply a chemical mix that mimics the natural flavour (please note that all artificial flavours should be food grade). These flavours whether natural or artificial are mixed to create the delicious flavours that take your vaping experience to the next level.
Dun Dun Darrrrr… Nicotine.
Nicotine is an addictive substance. There is no question about that, it has been scientifically proven. However, in saying that nicotine isn’t the main cause of serious illness that comes from the tar and toxic gases released from burning tobacco, along with the paper wrapped around it. You will find that most e-juice producers make their e-juice with difference levels of nicotine, generally 24, 18, 12, 6, 3, and 0 mg per millilitre levels. The nicotine level is generally displayed as a larger number on the bottle with mg after it.
A doubler is simply nicotine free e-juice that is made at twice the flavour concentration for the purpose of mixing it at a 50/50 ratio with unflavoured nicotine solution. Simply put a doubler is a half-measure in a full bottle, this means that in a 30ml bottle you will get 15ml of flavour concentrate. To this you add a further 15mls of nicotine solution to get your desired nicotine strength. A doubler also lets you have some control over your mix of PG/VG (for more info about PG & VG, read our e-juice numbers blog). If you purchase a doubler from HB Vapour we’ll do the mixing for you and make it easy, no matter if you order online or in-store.
So e-juice is made from common ingredients that you’d probably consume on a daily basis any way, this means there’s no need to fear e-juice. The latest studies back this up, saying that vaping e-juice is about as safe as drinking coffee. Finding an e-juice that is right for you is a matter of tasting, testing and assessing. All Hawke’s Bay Vapour stores have a tasting station, where you can test out different juices with different ratios, nicotine levels, and flavours. Our team are also there to offer recommendations and help you find what’s best for you. We also recommend trying before you buy, to be sure it’s right for you.
Any questions? Send us a message on Facebook or email us! We’d love to hear from you.