Recap: All e-liquids have a common base of VG, PG, nicotine, and flavourings. You can choose from shortfill, 50:50, and nicotine shot e-liquids.
Vape juice, vape liquid, e-liquid—whatever you call it, it’s important to understand what it’s made of and how to use it. But wait! Once you understand these phrases, there are even more terms to learn about: Shortfill, 50:50, flavourings, PG, VG…it never ends!
In this article, we’ll take you back to basics and answer the common question: what is e-liquid?
What are E-Liquids Made Of?
There are so many different kinds of e-liquids available that it might come as a surprise that they can all be boiled down to a few base ingredients.
- Propylene Glycol (PG) - PG is a colourless liquid that can be found in lots of different foods as a preservative. You might have also seen PG in the ingredients list for medicines, topical creams, and personal hygiene products. It’s a synthetic liquid, and it has a lower viscosity than VG. In vape juice, PG works as an emulsifier. It ensures that all the ingredients remain mixed together.
- Vegetable Glycerin (VG) - VG is a colourless liquid. It is made from vegetable fat. Manufacturers use VG to create toothpaste and medicines. It even sweetens food. VG is far more viscous than PG. A higher ratio of VG makes for a thicker liquid that has more flavour.
- Flavourings - Manufacturers use synthetic chemicals known as esters to replicate natural fruity flavours and to create weird and wonderful sensations like cotton candy and lemon tart.
- Nicotine - Nicotine is optional, but 90% of e-liquid contains some amount of nicotine. Manufacturers extract nicotine from tobacco leaves and throw away the leaves. The lower end of the spectrum is 2mg of nicotine per 2ml, and the highest possible amount is 20mg of nicotine per 2ml.
Types of E-Liquids
Now that you know about all the essential elements of e-liquids, you need to learn about the different types of e-liquids.
This type of e-liquid usually comes in a 60ml bottle that has 10ml of extra space, hence the name shortfill. Shortfills do not contain nicotine. They are designed to give vapers a large amount of their favourite flavour without the restrictions of a nicotine product.
Some shortfills even come in 120ml bottles. There is 100ml of e-liquid in the bottle and 20ml of extra space. You can choose your favourite flavour, then add one or two 10ml nic shots to create a nicotine sensation that suits your tastebuds. Put the lid back on, shake well, and pour the mixture into your vape tank.
Shortfills are a good choice for people who want full control over their vape experience.
Nicotine shots pair with shortfills. They are 10ml bottles of nicotine vape liquid. You can choose from a sliding scale of nicotine strengths. 10mg and 20mg are common options.
Nic shots are flavourless. They are a vehicle for nicotine, and you can combine them with whichever flavour you want.
There are many types of e-liquids to choose from, but the main difference between them is often the ratio of PG to VG. 50:50 e-liquids contain a perfect balance of VG and PG.
This composition is compatible with most vape kits, tanks, and coils. It is the best of both worlds; you can expect medium vapour density, satisfying flavours, and a medium-intensity throat hit from 50:50 vape juice.
High VG E-Liquids
A high VG composition is classed as anything above 60%.
You should pair high VG e-liquids with vape kits, tanks, and coils that have low resistance. Low resistance is anything below one ohm. Ohm is a measure of electrical resistance within a coil. The lower the ohm, the less the coil can resist electrical current. More electrical current passes through the coil, which makes it burn hotter and produce more vapour.
In most cases, vapers pair high VG e-liquids with sub ohm vape kits. This kind of e-liquid and this type of kit work toward the same goal: they are designed to make the most vapour as quick as possible.
High VG mixtures are ideal for Direct-to-Lung (DTL) vaping. This is one of the two styles of vaping, with the other one being Mouth-to-Lung (MTL). For a DTL vape, you have to draw on your device slowly and steadily for up to five seconds. When the vapour hits your lungs, you can exhale and enjoy the immense clouds that follow.
High PG E-Liquids
A high PG composition is classed as anything above 60%.
You should pair high PG e-liquids with vape kits, tanks, and coils that have high resistance. They are perfect for any bit of kit that has a resistance above one ohm.
Whereas high VG e-liquids create big clouds, high PG e-liquids create satisfying throat hits. If you are just transitioning from smoking to vaping, we recommend vape juices that have a PG composition of 60 or above. They replicate the throat hit that you crave from cigarettes.
High VG mixtures are perfect for MTL vaping. For MTL vape hits, you have to hold the vapour in your mouth before you inhale it into your lungs. This vaping method is similar to the feeling of smoking a cigarette. This style of vaping does not present a learning curve for ex-smokers, and it is the easiest type of vape hit to master.
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