Vaping is very different to tobacco smoking as it doesn’t contain plant material and harmful additives. Tobacco smoking produces tar and other carcinogenic substances that are absorbed in your lungs and that enters rapidly in your bloodstream. Instead, e-cigarettes use a liquid often called as ‘e-liquid’, ‘vape juice’ or ‘e-juice’. Vape juice ingredients consist mainly of water, nicotine, PG (propylene glycol), VG (vegetable glycerin) and flavorings.
You can find vape shops almost everywhere with many different vape devices and e-liquid options such as, non-nicotine e-juices, nicotine e-juices, flavored, nic salts and a long etcetera.
Let’s explain a bit more about the most common vape juice ingredients and their functions.
Vape Juice Ingredients: Nicotine
Let’s start with the basic ingredient in many e-liquids: nicotine. Nicotine has both stimulant and relaxant properties, which makes it a unique substance. Nicotine is extracted from tobacco plants. Tobacco was a sacred plant in pre-Columbian America and it began growing in the Americas about 6,000 B.C. It was used for ritual ceremonies and also as a medicinal plant to treat common cold symptoms, cure wounds and in Europe it was even used to treat ulcers and basal cell cancer.
There are two basic forms of nicotine used as vape juice ingredients: Freebase nicotine and nicotine salts. The latter one, is more common than freebase nicotine as it comes in more nicotine strengths. In addition, nicotine salts offer a milder flavor than freebase nicotine.
If you vape freebase nicotine, you probably won’t vape nicotine strengths greater than 18mg /ml. That is because freebase nicotine hits the throat harder than nicotine salts. Users who only vape 3-4 mg / ml of freebase nicotine could vape more than 16-18 mg / ml of nicotine salts. In conclusion, nicotine salts have nicotine strengths similar to tobacco cigarettes.
You can get vape juices in different nicotine strengths. For example, you will find e-liquids with 0mg, 6mg, 12mg, 18mg, 24mg, and 32mg.
Water as an E-Liquid Ingredient
There is not that much to say here. Water is one of the vape juice ingredients. Obviously, water contributes to the consistency and viscosity of the e-liquid. If you add more water, you dilute it more. As you can imagine, water by itself does not contribute to the flavor on the e-liquid.
Vape Juice Ingredients: Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable glycerin or VG is a clear liquid, odorless with a mild sweet flavor. It’s one of the most common vape juice ingredients and it is responsible for producing the vapor in your vapes. In other words, more vegetable glycerin means more vapor.
It’s a non-toxic and viscous liquid that is very common in food ingredients. For example, it’s commonly used as a humectant (to keep things moist), sweetener, solvent and also to preserve food.
VG is, together with propylene glycol, one of the most common vape juice ingredients. If you want big and dense vape clouds, then vape juices with a higher VG:PG ratio are the best option.
VG is completely safe and It’s usually combined with PG because VG is very thick. In short, it would be difficult to vaporize 100% VG e-liquids.
Propylene Glycol or PG
PG is used in the food industry and also as an ingredient in many medicines (usually as a solvent). PG is considered safe to humans. Nonetheless, some people believe it’s harmful because formaldehyde is a product of PG vapor degradation.
Some vapers are concerned about aldehydes (acrolein and formaldehyde) present in the vaping process. However, aldehydes are present in much higher levels in cigarettes and cigars. Furthermore, there’s no scientific consensus whether aldehydes cause acute respiratory issues or not.
Propylene glycol produces some vapor, although not as dense as VG. It’s mainly responsible for giving the vaper the “throat hit” that resembles cigarette smoking.
If you are don’t want to vape vape juices with PG, there are many e-juices without it.
Vape Juice Ingredients: Flavorings
Many companies choose not to specify the flavorings they use in order to protect their recipes. There are many types of flavors, from fruit flavors such as mango, strawberry or avocado to menthol, cream, coffee or just tobacco flavor.
We suggest you buy e-liquids that contain food-graded vape juice ingredients.
Perhaps, the most controversial e-liquid ingredient is diacetyl. Some sources related it with a lung disease known as “popcorn lungs”. Diacetyl is used in the food industry to give a buttery flavor to foods. There are many diacetyl-free e-liquids, just ask your vape shop or online vape store for diacetyl-free juices if you don’t want to vape this ingredient.
How to Make Your Own Vape Juice?
A DIY is a homemade e-liquid version of commercial e-liquids. Many vapers have opted to make their own vape juices because of the flavor bans and also because they want to have more control over what they are vaping.
DIY e-liquids is a good solution for vapers who still want to vape different e-liquid flavors.
Vape juices are quite simple, and you won’t need that many ingredients. There are many websites with lots of recipes nonetheless, in this blog post, we will give you some e-liquid recipes.
Easiest Way to Make Vape Juice
It’s simple, you need to mix mainly two ingredients: PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin). These two components are the base liquid. Then, you need nicotine and flavor concentrates.
Firstly, you will need to get both VG and PG. Buy at least 100 ml for each of them. After you get both PG and VG, you need to add flavorings into the solutions. For this purpose, you can access many DIY vape juice flavoring recipes available online.
Next step, you need to add nicotine into the solutions (don’t add nicotine if you want to make a nicotine-free e-liquid).
The process is simple, just fill the bottle up to the middle with VG and the rest with PG. Then, add approximately 10 to 15 drops of flavorings. After you mix all these components, shake the bottle and leave aside for a few hours.
What Do You Need to Make E-Liquid?
VG and PG (Base Liquid): You can use a ratio of 50:50 or 70:30 VG: PG. It depends on your vape preferences. If you want to feel more a throat hit, then a 50:50 VG:PG ratio is the best option for you. You can even mix a 70:30 PG:VG ratio for more throat hit. On the other hand, if you want denser clouds then add more VG to your solutions, for example a 70:30 VG:PG ratio.