Eliquids, commonly referred to as vape juice, are a hot topic in smoking circles, medical journals and now the national press. But what exactly is in it? Is it bad for you, how do you use it and will your lungs turn into popcorn if you do? We’ve decided to put all the answers in one easy article to get you thinking about vape in the right way.
What is vape juice made of?
Vape Juice is made up of two liquids Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycerin (PG). Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is a compound produced from palm oil, soy or coconut oil. You can find it in cosmetics, food, traditional medicine, alternative medicine, pharmeceuticals and many other day to day products. VG is viscous with no odour or scent which is what makes it a useful agent to use in many different circumstances including vaping.
Propylene Glycerin (PG), is the other part of vape juice. Its mainly used as a food additive because it absorbs water, making it very useful in chemistry, foods and, of course, vaping. Again, it has no noticeable odour (or a very faint one) naturally colourless with a light sweet taste.
Take a look at a bottle of vape juice. Each one has a ratio on the front. 50/50 or 70/30, 90/10. The first number stands for VG and the second for PG. This is the balance of the two substances contained in the bottle and has an impact on the sharpness on the throat, flavour and vapor of your juice. Although, the ratio adds up to 100% there is also a small amount of food flavouring added to each bottle which decides the flavour.
How does vape juice taste?
The taste is determined by the food flavourings added to the mix. But the way you experience that flavour depends on the VG to PG ration. High VG liquids tend to be sweeter and smoother on the throat. VG also boils at a higher temperature than PG allowing you to create much larger clouds. Most shortfills use a High VG mix because they are smooth on the throat making for a decent daily vape.
When you increase the PG content what you are doing is increasing the amount of fast-burning liquids. PG tends to hold a lot more flavour than VG and is less sweet. It is popular with flavour chasers (those who look for flavour rather than big clouds). It is also closer to the experience of smoking because High PG levels are harsher on the throat. That can become a problem if you vape it regularly.
How to use vape juice
Vape juice is very easy to use although the science behind it is rather complex. From a user’s perspective it can be as simple as pouring liquid into a tank then firing up the coil (running electricity through a filament) which heats up the surrounding liquid causing it to boil. When the liquid boils it becomes a vapor, much like steam from a kettle.
The boiling point of VG is 290 degrees Celsius whereas PG is 187 degrees Celsius. Once the liquid boils the steam it produces is inhaled by the vaper. There are two main ways of doing using vape juice and that is either with a Vape Mod or with a Vape Pen.
Vape Mods are a little more complex and expensive than vape pens so they are generally used by more experienced vapers. A mod comes in the a few parts. The main body, the mod element, is an electric device that sends out a current. The upper part can be separated and is called an atomizer or tank. Inside the atomizer a coil wrapped in cotton and soaked in vape juice acts as a wick, so when you run electricity through it, it heats the surrounding vape juice rather than burning it.
RDA Mod guidelines: Simply unscrew the mouth piece to access the chamber and fill with vape juice.
Rebuildable Mod: Without a tank you must use cotton directly onto the deck, this provides the best flavour but is more messy, drippy and fidgety, not ideal for clumsy fingers.
Vape pens are much the same as mods in design but are all one unit without removal parts. unscrew the top and pour in the Juice.
Flavour of vape juice
Vaping owes a lot of its existence to the food industry. Since as early as the 1960’s flavourings have been massed produced in supermarket foods to help make better tasting goods. The popularity of these goods, led to a huge surge in funding and design.
Flavourings are cheap to buy and can be dissolved into vape juice. There are literally thousands of flavourings and many can be combined together. Creating, for example, lemon tarts or creme brulees, pecan pies, buttery pastry and so on.
So that is your lot. Any questions or interesting info on vape juice not mentioned here? Pop in it the comments below.