So, you’ve made the momentous decision to give up smoking and use vaping as your Nicotine replacement, you’ve chosen an excellent solid starter vape device, and now the easy part is picking an e-liquid to use in vape. Wrong! The more you look at the different liquids available, the more it becomes confusing, terms such as PG, VG, shortfill, shot and sub-ohm, and there are the numbers 50/50 or 70/30 – what does it all mean? Let’s see if we can address the terminology and simplify e-liquid for the new vaper.
E-liquid, vape juice or e juice has four main components, they are –
- Vegetable Glycerine or VG
- Propylene Glycol or PG
- Food grade flavouring
It is possible to buy e-liquids in varying ratios of VG and PG, which mean they have differing levels of viscosity, which are suitable for multiple types of vaping. E-liquids are also available with nicotine already mixed or with no nicotine. E-liquid with no nicotine is called shortfall. E-liquids technically shouldn’t expire, but over time the mixed components start to break down; manufacturers are obligated to add a date to the bottle to make the consumer aware of the lifespan of their product. Your e-liquid is best stored in a cool, dry place, not in direct sunlight or near a heat source.
Strengths, Mixes and Ratios
Your e-liquid can come in various strengths, and this refers to the amount of nicotine in the e-liquid; the traditional industry strengths range from 3mg and 6mg at the low end through the middling 10mg and 12mg to 18mg and 20mg at the top end of the strength spectrum. E-liquid is available pre-mixed in what are usually three different mixed ratios; the numbers refer to the main VG/PG ingredients, they are:
- 50/50 used by many starter pre-mixed e-liquids
- 70/30 higher viscosity e-liquid for more powerful vapes
- 80/20 Top-end e-liquid for the most powerful devices
The higher-level mixes are for the more powerful sub-ohm machines; they use a lower resistance coil which allows more power to flow, they then vaporise the thicker e-liquid to produce the required large clouds. At the other end, the 50/50 thinner type e-liquids are best suited to the vape that utilises a lower power coil with higher resistance to burn the e-liquid consistently; this is known as plus-ohm vaping.
Shortfill, Shots and Beyond
While it’s not something the new vaper takes on, it is possible to mix your own e-liquid to your ideal specifications. The two different components are usually termed the shortfill and the shot. The shortfill liquid contains the VG, PG, and flavour. The shot includes the Nicotine element; they are easily mixed in any suitable container, allowing a thorough shaking for about two minutes. It is possible to start with a flavourless VG/PG mix, nicotine shot, and add your own flavouring; some research to make sure your flavouring is suitable is required.
I hope this short article has helped you get a grip of the different options available to you the vaper; in short, the world is your oyster, you can try a new pre-mixed e-liquid repeatedly till your heart’s content and if it isn’t working, trying to mix your own!