E Liqud also known as vape juice or ejuice – is a fluid that is placed in the tank of an e-cigarette or vape tank that creates vapour. This is what you inhale and exhale as part of the vaping process.When liquid is heated, depending on its composition, its nature changes. We know, for example, that when water is heated to a high temperature it evaporates, doing so by changing from liquid to steam. Vaping juice acts in a similar way. Depending on the vaping kit you have and your own temperature preference, e-liqud is heated to anything between 90°C and 200°C causing it to change from liquid to vapour. As it does so, you inhale, giving you a hit of flavour when you need it most.
Vaping liquid is a mixture of:
- Nicotine (but not always!)
- Propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerine (VG) – or a mix of both
- Flavouring Food-grade
Let’s take a look at these ingredients in turn.
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerine (VG)
It’s easy to be confused about PG and VG when it comes to choosing vaping juice. In the case of most reputable eliquid manufacturers, PG and VG are mixed so that you get the benefits of both.
What is Propylene Glycol (PG)?
To be scientific, Propylene Glycol is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH₃CHCH₂OH.
It is both colourless and odourless too with low viscosity, meaning it is a thin liquid, the opposite of VG ejuice which is a thicker liquid. It is an ingredient not just in vape juice but in solvents and humectants, which you’ll know as skin lotion or moisturiser.
Why is PG used in e-juice?
The properties of PG lend itself well as an ingredient in vape juice;
- Because it is in a thinner liquid, it is easier to handle when it comes to filling and re-filling the atomiser, cartomizer or clearomiser.
- Again, due to its thin nature, using a PG vape juice means less build-up and gunk on the coil of your vaping kit.
- It absorbs heat much faster too meaning you can start vaping quicker once your vape is switched on and ready to go.
- The vapour feels warmer as it takes less time to heat.
- Tasteless and odourless, it doesn’t interfere with the flavour of your e-juice.
- You should also need to know that PG based vaping juices carry a very small risk of allergic reaction. They also produce a less dense vapour so your clouds won’t be that big!
What is Vegetable Glycerine (VG)??
Vegetable Glycerine is an all-natural liquid that is extracted from plant oil and goes by the chemical formula C3H8O3. Like PG, it is a clear, odourless liquid with a mere hint of colour. In some cases, it has a slight tang of sweetness to it. You can tell it apart from PG because it is a thicker, more viscous liquid.
Why is VG used in e-juice?
VG is much thicker than PG but there are advantages to opting for a VG based liquid;
- Because it is a thicker liquid, you can produce impressive clouds!
- Easier on the throat, it delivers less of a flavour hit.
- It contains flavour and sweetness of its own making the final product sweeter, although many people say that the overall flavour is ‘duller’.
- There are some downsides to VG e-juice, one of which is the gunk that can accumulate on the coil. It also needs more power to reach optimal temperature before you can start vaping.
As we know the main components of e juice are nicotine (optional), VG or PG (or a mix of both) and food-grade flavouring.
Depending on the flavouring used, you will see some other ingredients listed on the packet of your favourite Eliquids, more often than not. You may be surprised to learn that some of the flavourings in vape juice are found in other products too.
This is because, as flavours of vaping juices are created, they will use compounds that have already been developed and tested for quality and flavour.
Mixing flavours leads to some pretty unique flavour combos, something that many vapers like most about vaping.
How to Store Vape Juice
Eliquid is best stored in a cool, dark place
Sunlight drains the soul and flavour from the eliquid and so keeping it in its original cardboard box in a cool, dark cupboard should mean that unopened bottles of eliquid retain their flavour and stability for months to come.
Stored correctly, most vape juice is useable for 2 years
But only if kept cool and the bottle isn’t tampered with. For opened vape juice, you have weeks before it starts to lose its potency. As yet, in the UK, there is no ‘official’ best before date for vaping juice.
Once opened, vape juice doesn’t last long
Once you’ve opened a bottle of eliquid, you need to get on and use it so that the delicate mix and balance of flavour contained in that bottle don’t evaporate.