Ratio Roundup: The Best PG/VG Ratios for Optimal Flavor & Clouds
What is Vegetable Glycerin?
VG (or vegetable glycerin) is a clear, odorless liquid made from plant oils, primarily palm oil, coconut or soy oil. VG has a slightly sweet taste, metabolizes different than sugar and is used in low carbohydrate foods for added moisture and sweetness. Pure vegetable glycerin has a texture similar to an oil or syrup.
VG is used in household products such as lotion and toothpaste, and also had medical applications such as its ability to help treat topical burns due to its moisture inducing properties. Vegetable glycerin is also one of the main ingredients in e-liquids.
What is Propylene Glycol?
PG (or propylene glycol) is one of the two primary ingredients in e-liquid. It is a synthetic organic compound with the chemical formula C₃H₈O₂, and is also used in cosmetic products and food production. Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid with a subtly sweet taste.
PG is used as a flavoring carrier both in food and e-liquids.
VG vs. PG: Strengths & Differences
VG and PG differ in four main categories. These include throat hit, flavor, vapor production, storage time, temperature resistance and atomizer friendliness. I’ve created a chart below which should help you visualize the strengths of each ingredient, as it can get a bit confusing since VG and PG sound so similar sonically.
If you’re looking for an e-liquid that gives you a good throat hit feeling and effect, you’ll want to learn towards PG based e-liquid which amplies the throat hit feel.
Since PG is the primary flavor carrier in e-liquid, e-liquids that have a higher PG percentage have more intense flavor.
E-liquid that is primarily VG-based produces more vapor clouds than e-liquids that are primarily PG based. A good way to help you remember this is to associate the “V” in “VG” with “Vapor production.”
Since PG has powerful moisturizing properties, it has a longer storage time than VG based e-liquids.
VG based e-liquids have a thicker consistency and therefore a higher temperature resistance than PG based e-juice, which have a thinner consistency and hold more moisture. This means you’ll need to set higher wattage on your vape to produce vapor with VG based e-liquids, but it’s worth it for the larger cloud production.
PG is a lower density and thinner e-liquid than VG, and so PG-based e-liquid is absorbed more efficiently by your vaporizers wick materials, and therefore less likely to mess up your wicks or heating elements of your atomizers.
Since VG has a thicker density, it’s more likely to gunk up your wicks and other vaping components like heating elements, meaning more cleaning and maintenance.
The Best VG/PG Ratio for Competitive Vapors or Cloud Chasers: 100% VG
If you’re looking for the maximum cloud you can exhale, also known as “cloud chasing”, you’re going to want to choose a pure VG based e-liquid. Here’s why.
VG is the ingredient where most of the cloud production comes from. So if you want maximum clouds, you want maximum VG - it’s that simple. As a competitive vaper, you're less concerned with gunking up your vape because you don’t mind the trade off, and tasting flavor and getting a throat hit isn’t really one of your goals right now.
The Best PG/VG Ratio for Casual or Lifestyle Vapers: 70% VG / 30% PG
If you’re looking for a smooth feeling that doesn’t overpower your throat when inhaling, and big clouds when exhaling with a good level of tasty flavor, the 70/30 ratio is best for you.
At this ratio, most vapers feel like they get the best of both worlds. You’ll get great cloud production with good flavor and a nice throat hit, but each element doesn’t overpower the other. The majority of e-liquids on VIBLEO are a 70/30 mix.
The one downside of this ratio is that it may gunk up your vape more than e-juices with more of a PG base due to its higher percentage of VG.
The Best PG/VG Ratio for Occasional Vapers: 50% VG / 50% PG
Those who vape on occasions are most likely not looking to satisfy a craving, but more so to enjoy an enjoyable experience every once in awhile. The recommended VG/PG ratio for occasional vapers is 50/50. Here’s why.
Since you are only vaping once in awhile, you want a good place to begin experimenting on the best ratio for you. When you do vape, you likely want to really taste the flavor and enjoy a good throat hit. You’ll also want decent cloud production, because that’s part of the fun. You’re not really worried to much about vape cleaning and maintenance, since you don’t vape that often.
The Best PG/VG Ratio for Flavor Chasers: 100% PG
E-juice that is composed entirely of PG used to be really popular, but nowadays it’s not as common anymore. If you’re looking for the maximum throat hit and the most intense flavor (or “flavor chasing”) at the cost of vapor production, e-juice with a 100% PG is the way to go.
The amount of flavor here is really high, but vapor production is considerably low compared to e-liquids that have at least some VG mixed in.
Other VG/PG Ratios
Aside from these ratios, there are many more mixes you can experiment with, like 40%VG / 60% PG, or 20% VG / 80% PG. The information in this article is meant to serve as a starting point - experimentation with the right ratios will be your best bet in figuring which VG/PG ratio is right for you moving forward.
How Nicotine Levels Affects Ratios
The nicotine level in your e-liquid also influences the throat hit effect in your e-juice. When nicotine is present in e-liquid, you’ll get a little bit more of a throat hit feel. This means 100% VG e-liquid, which normally would produce little to no throat hit, would have a throat hit feel if the e-liquid also contains nicotine. Of course, the more nicotine concetration you you have in your e-juice, the more throat hit you’ll get. This means as a cloud chaser, you can still have a 100% VG e-liquid and experience a good throat hit if you add some nicotine in the mix.