Vape Juice & E-Liquids
Vape E-Liquid or E-juice
Vaping is all about passion and love for vape smoke. Obviously, you would opt for an e-juice that you cherish and enjoy using. We would never buy an e-juice that doesn't meet our expectations. The quality and flavor have to be optimum. For all those vaping lovers who already have a vaping kit, you need to find the most appropriate e-juice.
What are e-liquid, vape juice, and E-Juice?
Technically speaking, vape juice, E-liquid, and E-Juice are the names of same product. They are always a variable concoction of some basic ingredients like propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine, and added artificial or natural flavorings.
What are PG and VG?
We can define them in simplest possible terms as:
- VG (and PG) are the liquids with no odor that form part of the E-juice in combination with nicotine and flavor.
- They are non-intoxicating member of the alcohol family as a mandatory ingredient in many human consumption products as sugar alcohols. PG and VG are meant to vaporize upon heating and inhaled.
- Unlike inhaling oils, VG and PG are safe and unable to cause any health hazard like lipoid pneumonia upon inhaling.
- These two liquids are somewhat different in consistency and taste. They are also distinguished by the sensations they create in mouth and throat upon vaping.
- Most E-liquid brands mix these liquids in different proportions to create specific taste and flavor. Interestingly, some vaping kits are designed to work within a specified range of VG and PG level.
Considering these facts, always choose the right level of VG/PG ratio to ensure optimal vaping experience.
PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG)
What exactly is it?
Propylene Glycol (PG) is a by-product of petroleum. Other than being odorless and colorless, the liquid is lesser viscous as compared to VG. Upon inhalation, it is known to produce an experience known as 'throat hit' (somewhat similar to the one produced by tobacco inhalation). It is widely used for e-juice formulation as it allows better mixing with nicotine and flavorings.
How is it used?
PG is widely used in some of the commonly used items like oral hygiene products (like toothpaste), various medical formulations (injectables, external use or oral suspensions), pet nutrition products (excluding feline food), beauty and skincare products (shampoo, baby wipes and make-up products etc.). it is also an inherent ingredient of all nicotine inhalers.
Is it safe?
Interestingly, PG is classified as generally safe for human consumption, even as a food additive. Its oral ingestion is permissible. Although most studies related to PG are about its oral ingestion. However, a few studies have found it to be perfectly harmless upon inhalation in vapor form.
In another instance, a study conducted in 2010 found a mixture of PG and GE (glycol ether) to be associated with some medical conditions in children like hay fever, asthma and eczema. However, in such cases, the likely culprit was found to be GE rather than PG. the available evidence suggests that PG is safe for inhalation. Further studies may be required for concrete proof.
Some of the mis-informed media elements label PG as a toxic element, fit for usage as anti-freeze application. This is high misguiding since PG is a substance that is permitted for use in food industry by health authorities. The apprehension-based media reports mistakenly take PG in place of its toxic cousin ethylene glycol (extensively used as an anti-freeze agent).
It is important to know that PG is safe for human use as well as it is added to many types of animal food. However, it is a suspected cause if Heinz body anemia in Felines. Please be careful while vaping in the presence of cats, especially once your e-liquid is PG based.
What should I be aware of when vaping PG?
There are very few people who are known to carry allergies against PG, however, some may experience throat irritation with higher concentrations of PG. For those users who feel discomfort with PG based E-juice inhalation, they can opt for VG oriented e-juices. They are produced and offered by many brands in the market.
In certain cases, you may experience excessive thirst, dry mouth and mild dehydration during the initial few days of use. You must drink loads of liquids when you start vaping. The propylene glycol related symptoms will disappear in a few days through proper rehydration. In most cases, unpleasant symptoms are the byproduct of leaving smoking rather than starting vaping.
VEGETABLE GLYCERIN (VG)
What exactly is it?
Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is naturally occurring chemical that is derived from vegetable oils. It is added in vaping liquids to add a feeling of thickness to the vape smoke. It is heavier than PG with a sweeter taste. It is preferred over Propylene Glycol in sub ohm devices as it is known to hit the throat in much smoother manner. Some brands offer a 100 percent VG mix with the usual suspension of flavorings and nicotine
What is it used for?
Being a natural product, it is used for a number of nutritional, medicinal and individual uses. Some of its prominent uses include:
- As an alternative sweetener to replace sugar.
- As an ad-on in various skincare products like mousse, aftershave, bubble bath, and additive in deodorants.
- An ingredient in pet food.
- In moisturizing products like cream and soaps.
- As a moisturizing agent in bakery items.
- In capsule pills, medicinal creams and jellies as a jell to make them thick.
- In dental products like toothpastes and mouthwash.
Is it safe?
One of the leading food authorities in the world, FDA recognizes VG as safe for human use. Owing to its mild and safe nature, it is extensively used in medicine and food industry. However, there are fewer studies on its usage as an inhaling substance than other human uses. It is known to very mildly toxic in excessive quantities and has the potential to of irritating skin and eyes.
Inhaled VG was found to have very few risks as an inhaled substance according to a study carried out in 2008. Presumably, VG has negligible health related risks until is proven otherwise by more advanced studies at a later date and time.
It is also pertinent to mention that VG has very minimal potential to trigger allergic reactions and that makes it an ideal alternate to PG in vaping juices. VG can only trigger allergic reaction in people who are allergic to coconut or palm oil. However, this is very unlikely. Even diabetics should not find any problem in VG metabolism with the volume of VG used in e-juices.
What should I be aware of when using VG?
A word of caution in case of VG. Being thicker in viscosity, VG can negatively affect the atomizer life by clogging its coils. The problem is more pronounced in vaporizer models with smaller coils. Certain mioodels of tanks like eGo and Nautilus brand tanks will have serious problems in use of high VG e-liquids. In some other models like clearomizers, VG fluid may not work at all.
Just like PG, VG fluids also tend to dehydrate the user. The user may also experience drying of throat and soreness. The remedy again is drinking loads of liquids and abstain from vaping in extreme cases.
What VG/PG ratio should I use?
There is no specific or perfect answer to this question. The proportion depends upon your personal taste preferences and may advance users opt for different proportions for unique reasons. Here are some suggestions:
When deep throat hit is desired – the answer in this case is the high PG proportion in the vaping fluid. Advanced vapers enjoy this effect and prefer high PG with nicotine to produce the effect. This effect is far lesser in high VG fluids. Another advantage of the high PG fluid is that it has higher capacity to infuse flavor than VG. You will enjoy better flavor with PG.
When smoother vaping experience is desired: VG rich fluid should be your choice when you are looking for smoother throat feeling. Substantially fuller smoke is also produced. VG high fluid tend to suppress the flavor a little but this can be compensated by producing more vapor through extra power. Be mindful of keeping within the power limits of your vaporizer or you may damage it (or produce dry hits).
When you want to conceal your vaping. When you intend to enjoy low key vaping in public places, then opt for PG high fluids. You will produce lesser vapor upon inhalation and exhaling.it is important to understand that vaping is not favored by many in public. You must understand such public sensitivities and adhere to vaping mannerism. Vaping in public may even be against the law in certain areas. You must understand these basics as a vaping beginner.
When exhibition or competition is the intention. In such cases where exhaling huge clouds is the desirable or wanted, then VG high vape fluids must be your choice. Pick the highest content VG fluid when you desire to produce the biggest cloud.
Types of E-Juice
E-juices are available in a huge range of variety. One range is based on the concentration of nicotine content. They can load as high as 24 mg of nicotine and as low as 0%. Depending upon what you prefer, you can pick any. The other factor is the base. Juices can come in PG, VG or a mixed formulation of both. VG rich juices are thicker and preferred by people with PG allergic reactions. PG rich fluids are lesser expensive and thinner. Third factor is the flavor. There are more flavors available in the market than you can imagine. You can pick from fruity, minty, creamy, and hard flavors etc. It is important to understand that trying different flavors adds to the beauty of vaping. In the nutshell, these three basic factors decide everything about a vaping juice choice.
Nicotine Salt E-Juices
Nicotine slats were first introduced by JUUL laboratories and users loved it. They found it more satisfying and soon the whole vaping industry adopted these juices. They are known to be smoother and more satisfying since they pack more nicotine per puff. They are cheaper in use as well since they consume lesser liquid. They are known to most satisfying in taste and quality/price.
What is nicotine salt?
A chemical compound (most commonly benzoic acid) is uses to create an extremely stable molecule of nicotine by neutralizing the nicotine and give the typical smoothness to nicotine. It makes it more enjoyable to consume. Its inventor, JUUL Labs, compares its formula with nicotine product in tobacco leaf before its stripping in the process of extraction.
Commercially speaking, Nicotine salt is a blended nicotine formulation with reduced harshness and more capacity to load nicotine in each inhale. Contrary to a popular myth, it has nothing to do with your common table salt and leaves no salty taste in your mouth. It doesn't increase sodium intake either. Chemically defined, it is simply an acid and base combo that is neutrally charged ionic compound. When we say nic salt, nicotine salts, salt nicotine, and salt nic, they are all the same.
Nicotine salt vs. freebase nicotine
It is not difficult to feel the difference as soon as switch to nic salt mix from a standard nicotine freebase mix as they are not at all hard on the throat as comparted to nicotine freebase.
Nic salts based concoctions are ideal for use in low powered vapes like pod vapes as they tend to become vapor at much lesser temperatures. This is another difference between the two.
It is a popular belief among vape smokers that nic salts have a more regular smoking like experience in comparison to ordinary e-juices. This is something understandable since most nic salt-based products pack even upwards of 59mg nicotine. Such high concentration of nicotine surely adds to vaping pleasure of ex and present smokers.
According to a solid study on vaping, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos carried out a study on how much nicotine should be delivered in vaping for satisfying experience. It was determined that, an e-cig must deliver minimum of 50mg of nicotine for satisfying vaping experience. However, this was difficult to achieve since hardness of nicotine made is almost impossible to formulate such proportions. This was made possible with the introduction of nicotine salts by JUUL labs in 2014. Nic salts raised the level of nicotine per puff to the desired level and thus made vaping less risky.
Is nicotine salt more addictive?
Ordinary cigarettes are known to rapidly transmit nicotine to the brain upon smoking as they have much higher level of nicotine content. This makes it addictive. This is again the case with nic salts as they carry heavy volume of nicotine. In such a scenario, this is a very valid question. However, no study has no far been carried out on the subject, hence nothing can be said conclusively.
According to famous nicotine expert Jacques Le Houezec, (who happens to be a pharmacologist and a neuroscientist as well), nic salts are different from ordinary e-juice in one way only. They can allow more nicotine per puff. It is the amount of nicotine consumed per puff that can prove addictive. In classical sense, nic salts are not addictive in personality. It is the amount of nicotine inhaled that makes them addictive.
Is nicotine salt safe?
As the only additional ingredient nic salts carry is benzoic acid, nic salts are just as safe or unsafe as ordinary e-juices. According to the safety limitations recommended by WHO (The World Health Organization) International Program on Chemical Safety, an individual must not consume more than 5 mg/kg of nicotine each day. The calculation comes to around 345 mg for a person weighing around 150lbs. This is almost an impossible proportion to achieve for any vaping person. Going by this calculation, an average vapor cannot consume more than a few mgs of benzoic acid per day.
Strength of nicotine salt e-liquids
Most usual range of nicotine salt e-juices is between 25 t0 50 mg. For the starters, the recommended range is between 20 to 35 mg strength (except for the transitioning smoker).
Mr Salt-E is one of the manufacturers who offer low strength of nicotine coupled with high volume of vapor production. Interestingly, such products carry only 3-5 mg/mL of nicotine.
For those who prefer favor over high nicotine content, 3-5 mg of nicotine carrying nic salts produce clean taste and less odor. They are also ideal for sub ohm tanks owing to lower nicotine concentration.
Those seeking the middle path in vaping, 20-35 mg nicotine salt standards are the formulation of choice. It is fit for those who don't want to overdose on high nicotine and yet want the satisfaction. Ironically, 20mg is the highest concentration available in Europe.
For those who are freshly switching from smoking and desire the highest possible intake of nicotine, 50+ mg is the ideal choice. However, this concentration can only work in low wattage MTL vaping devices. It is also not advised for fresh smokers or novice vapers.
Most of the v aping products are being marketed as premium. However, very few people have some amount of understanding about the meaning of premium when it comes to E-juice. Unfortunately, many vaping products don't meet the standards of premium.
Premium E-Juice vs. regular E-Juice
In the simplest possible terms, premium means higher price tag. Premium e-liquids cost much more than ordinary e-liquids. The question remains, apart from the price, what sets premium juices apart from the ordinary? Ever since, the sampling of e-liquids is prohibited by law in vape shops, it is difficult to ascertain the quality difference on shop premises. There are no defined standards, however, the premium e-liquids must win over ordinary ones in following ways:
- Premium e-liquids deliver uniform taste in each bottle through following means:
- The recipes are always different and unique
- The flavorings are mostly extraordinary and registered.
- They come in small packings
- The taste is always unique
- Each bottle is batched and labeled with complete product detail
- It's almost impossible to replicate for copiers
- Ordinary e-liquids are inconsistent in following ways:
- Mostly repeat or copied recipes
- Ordinary and easily available flavors
- Available in larger batch sizes
- Tastes that you can find in most easily available products
- No mention of product details on the packaging
- Can be easily copied
Why does premium E-Juice cost so much?
It is very easy to manufacture an e-juice on DIY basis. This ease is based on the availability of ingredients in the market. You just have to buy PG, VG and nicotine to make a concoction of your choice. The ingredients are not expensive. Ironically, all e-juices are based on these same ingredients. The question arises, why should you pay so much for a premium e-juice when all are based on the same ingredients? Here are some of the reasons for that.
- The process of Manufacturing: obviously, the Premium E-liquid is formulated in clean manufacturing facilities under lab conditions. The required standards of ISO certification ensure that the product conforms to certain standards of quality. The operation cost in such facilities is high and it obviously adds to the price of the product in case of premium branded e-juices.
- High end testing: It is a usual high-quality brand practice to get their vaping juices tested by independent labs and sources for optimal quality control. Such testing ensures the product adherence to specified standards but it comes at a cost. This cost is added to premium e-juices retail price, hence making them expensive. Ordinary vaping fluids have no such testing costs.
- Unique and specially formulations: High end premium juices carry ingredients that are not sold in the market by the developer. Such brands hire professional flavor developers who concoct special flavorings for them through research and development. When such expensive research and development is involved, it is justified to claim higher price for that.
Best way to vape premium vape juice
Premium quality vape juices are expensive and typically cost anything between $0.70 to $1.00/ mL. the cost can get astronomical if you are a hard vapor. The best way to reduce price is to use to employ the vaping technique that involves inhaling direct to lungs through such vapes providing max flavoring through low output of vapor. For those users employing sub ohm tanks that are high cloud producers, they must never use premium E-Juice due to high consumptions and related cost effect.
Should you fill your tank with premium?
This is something that relates to what you like to vape and how much you can spend on it. In case, premium juices are beyond your wallet power, then try buying them at a sale. Another option is to look for a store that has premium juices available on discount. Try a few and you can find one that suits your taste. You have a case to switch to premium fluids if your ordinary juice is not working well enough for you.
Is vape juice oil?
It is important to understand that E-liquids are not oils. In certain cases, vape juices contain small volumes of natural oils derived from tobacco, certain fruits, or some other extracts. They are rare but they have little potential to change the composition of the e-liquid or its ability to merge in water. Only cannabis-based formulations are oils and vape – liquids are not oils
How Do I Choose a Flavor of E-Juice?
When looking for new flavors; frankly this can be tricky. You can never be sure that you would like the one that you are choosing. The solution remains in making a sensible and informed choice. The simplest and easiest way is to choose something that you can relate to. Tobacco smokers can opt for flavors based on tobacco. For those who love icy sensation in their throat, they can opt for minty formulations. The choices are endless. Try and settle for the one that you enjoy the most.
Doing e-juices on do it yourself basis can be simple as well as complicated. You can prepare an instant formulation by mixing certain juices and you can take months in perfecting the formulation to stick with. The choice is completely yours. Keep trying and master the art of vaping. Who knows, you may be the inventor of next vape juice sensation.