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VG vs. PG: What They Are, What They Do, and How to Find the Perfect Ratio

VG vs. PG: What They Are, What They Do, and How to Find the Perfect Ratio

VG vs. PG: What They Are, What They Do, and How to Find the Perfect Ratio

VG vs. PG: What They Are, What They Do, and How to Find the Perfect Ratio
February 02, 2023

The two ingredients that make up the bulk of an e-liquid are vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG). VG and PG each have unique properties and perform in different ways, which is why most e-liquids contain a combination of the two. Determining the best ratio for your vaping preferences can be difficult, especially for newcomers. Thankfully, this article will discuss the differences between the two and tips for finding the perfect balance.


Propylene Glycol (PG) is a colourless and odourless petroleum by-product. PG is often used as a synthetic food additive and is found in other common household items such as toothpaste, shampoo, and dog food. Additionally, it can be found in medicinal products like lorazepam and some cortisone creams. According to the FDA, “this substance is generally recognized as safe when used in accordance with good manufacturing or feeding practice.”

In vaping, PG is responsible for producing the ‘throat hit’ sensation.  Many vapers who transition from smoking cigarettes enjoy this sensation as it provides a similar experience to smoking tobacco. Although PG is considered safe for humans and dogs to consume, it has been linked to Heinz body anemia in cats. Consequently, if your e-liquid contains PG, be cautious of vaping around cats.

Some individuals can experience mild sensitivity to the harsh throat hit produced by PG. Common side effects are dehydration, a dry mouth, sore throat, and increased thirst. Increasing your water intake for the first few weeks when vaping e-liquids with high levels of PG can help reduce these symptoms. If these feelings persist or become unpleasant, consider decreasing your concentration of PG.


Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is a liquid derived from vegetable oils, such as palm, soy or coconut oil, and is therefore favoured among vegetarians. Whereas PG is slightly thicker than water, VG has a significantly higher viscosity with syrup-like consistency. VG has a slightly sweet taste, which is why it is commonly used as a sugar replacement in the food industry. VG is also widely used in cosmetics, personal care products and the pharmaceutical industry.

In vaping, VG produces a much smoother experience than PG. However, VG is not suitable for all devices, especially those that use smaller coils.  The thickness of VG can clog coils more rapidly and can reduce the lifespan of your atomizer.  Although allergic reactions are uncommon, if you have a palm oil or coconut oil allergy, exercise caution when choosing an e-liquid with a high concentration of VG.

Major Differences and Finding Your Perfect Ratio

The ideal vaping experience is different for every individual. Finding the perfect PG/VG balance is often a process of trial and error. Starting with a 50-50 ratio and then experimenting with different combinations is often the most effective strategy. You must also take into consideration the type of device you use and its requirements. For instance, clearomizers are not generally suitable for e-liquids containing more than 50% VG, whereas sub-ohm devices perform best with high concentrations of VG. Below are the major differences between the two, and how they impact the vaping experience.

Throat Hit/Smoothness: For those who enjoy a strong throat hit, e-liquids with a high concentration of PG will likely be more satisfactory. They are also ideal for individuals looking to quit smoking, as they deliver a similar experience to traditional cigarettes. For those desiring a smoother experience, high VG liquids are recommended.

Flavour: PG carries flavour better than VG. Those who prioritize flavour when vaping may prefer PG over VG. However, the difference is marginal.

Vapour Production: PG produces significantly less vapour when exhaling. Consequently, PG is preferred among individuals looking to vape discreetly. On the other hand, VG is favoured by those who enjoy creating dense clouds of vapour.

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