PG vs. VG: What are they and their Difference?

If you’re new to vaping, you’ve probably stumbled across a bunch of confusing acronyms and terms.

Among the most important are PG and VG – the two main ingredients in e-juice. Understanding the differences between PG vs. VG is key because they significantly impact your vaping experience.

So, let’s explain PG and VG, their differences, and why they matter in plain English.

What is PG?

PG stands for Propylene Glycol. Sounds fancy, but it’s just a synthetic organic compound that’s used in a wide range of products, from food and cosmetics to pharmaceuticals. When it comes to vaping, PG is popular because it carries flavor well and provides a strong throat hit, much like smoking a traditional cigarette.

The Lowdown on PG

  1. Throat Hit: PG delivers a solid throat hit, giving you that scratchy sensation at the back of your throat, similar to smoking.
  2. Flavor Carrier: It delivers intense flavors, making e-juices with higher PG content taste more pronounced.
  3. Thin Consistency: PG is thinner than VG, making it easier to handle and less likely to clog up your coils.

Pros of PG

  • Flavor: E-juices with higher PG content often have more intense flavors.
  • Throat Hit: If you’re transitioning from cigarettes, PG provides that familiar throat hit.
  • Less Gunk: Its thinner consistency means it’s less likely to build up on your coils, which means less maintenance.

Cons of PG

  • Allergies and Sensitivities: Some people might be allergic or sensitive to PG, which can cause irritation or allergic reactions.
  • Harshness: While some enjoy the strong throat hit, others may find it too harsh.

What is VG?

VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin. It’s a natural compound derived from vegetable oils and is commonly used in food and personal care products. VG is known for producing thick vapor clouds with a slightly sweet taste.

The Basics of VG

  • Vapor Production: VG is responsible for those big, billowy clouds of vapor that many vapers enjoy.
  • Smoothness: E-juices with higher VG content tend to be smoother on the throat, making them a good choice for those who find PG too harsh.
  • Viscosity: VG is much thicker than PG, which can lead to quicker buildup on your coils.

Pros of VG

  • Cloud Production: If you’re into cloud chasing, VG is essential for producing massive vapor clouds.
  • Smooth Throat Hit: VG provides a smoother hit, which is easier on the throat.
  • Sweetness: VG has a naturally sweet taste, which can enhance the overall flavor of your e-juice.

Cons of VG

  • Gunk Buildup: Its thickness can lead to faster gunk buildup on your coils, requiring more frequent maintenance.
  • Weaker Flavor: VG doesn’t carry flavors like PG, so high VG juices might taste less intense.
  • Longer Wicking Time: VG takes longer to soak into wicks due to its viscosity, which can be an issue for some setups.

PG vs. VG: The Showdown


When it comes to flavor, PG takes the crown. Its ability to carry and deliver intense flavors makes it the preferred choice for many vapers, especially those who enjoy strong, sharp flavors. On the other hand, VG, with its natural sweetness, can sometimes mute certain flavors, making them less pronounced. However, some dessert flavor vape juices utilize VG’s sweetness to enhance their profiles.

Throat Hit

PG is the go-to for a strong throat hit that mimics the experience of smoking a cigarette. VG, by contrast, offers a smoother, gentler throat hit. This makes VG ideal for those who find PG too harsh or for people who are sensitive to strong sensations in their throats.

Vapor Production

If you’re all about the clouds, VG is the clear winner. Its thicker consistency leads to denser, more voluminous vapor clouds. PG, while excellent for flavor and throat hit, produces much less vapor in comparison.

Viscosity and Coil Life

PG’s thinner consistency is kinder to your coils, meaning they last longer and require less frequent cleaning. Being thicker VG can lead to quicker buildup and more frequent maintenance. If you’re using high-VG juice, be prepared to clean your coils more often.

Finding the Right Balance

Many e-juices use a blend of both PG and VG to leverage the best qualities of each. Common ratios include 50/50, 70/30 (VG/PG), and 80/20 (VG/PG), though you can find juices in virtually any ratio. Here’s a breakdown of what these ratios typically offer:


  • Flavor: Balanced
  • Throat Hit: Noticeable but not too harsh
  • Vapor: Decent cloud production
  • Best For: A well-rounded vaping experience

70/30 (VG/PG)

  • Flavor: Good, with a slight sweetness
  • Throat Hit: Smooth
  • Vapor: Large clouds
  • Best For: Cloud chasers who still want good flavor

80/20 (VG/PG)

  • Flavor: Mildly sweet
  • Throat Hit: Very smooth
  • Vapor: Huge clouds
  • Best For: Dedicated cloud chasers

Specialized E-Juices

Freebase Vape Juice

Freebase vape juice is the traditional form of nicotine e-liquid. It uses pure nicotine in its freebase form, which provides a strong throat hit and a quick nicotine delivery. These juices can come in various PG/VG ratios, allowing vapers to choose their preferred balance of flavor, throat hit, and vapor production.

Nicotine Salt E-Juice

Nicotine salt e-juice uses a different form of nicotine that is less harsh on the throat, even at higher nicotine levels. This allows for a smoother vaping experience, making it an excellent choice for those who need higher nicotine content without the intense throat hit of freebase nicotine. Nicotine salts are often found in pod systems and are typically higher in VG, catering to those who prefer a smoother hit and denser clouds.

Dessert Flavor Vape Juice

Dessert flavor vape juice is designed to mimic the taste of your favorite sweets, from creamy custards to rich chocolates. These e-juices often have a higher VG content to enhance the sweetness and create thick, satisfying vapor clouds. They’re perfect for vapers with a sweet tooth who enjoy a rich, flavorful experience.

Nicotine Free Vape Juice

For those who enjoy vaping without nicotine, nicotine free vape juice is the way to go. These juices allow you to experience the flavors and clouds without any nicotine, making them ideal for people who have quit nicotine but still enjoy the act of vaping. Depending on your preference for flavor and vapor production, they can be found in various PG/VG ratios.

Cheap E Juice

Cheap e juice refers to affordable vaping liquids that don’t compromise on quality. They are perfect for vapers on a budget who still want to enjoy a good vaping experience. These juices are available in a wide range of flavors and PG/VG ratios, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Mixing Your Own E-Juice

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even mix your own e-juice. This lets you experiment with different PG/VG ratios to find the best for you. Start with a simple 50/50 mix and adjust from there based on your preferences. This way, you can tailor the flavor, throat hit, and vapor production exactly to your liking.

Wrapping It Up

Understanding the difference between PG and VG is essential in finding your perfect vape. These two ingredients bring unique qualities to e-juice, affecting everything from flavor and throat hit to vapor production and coil life.

By experimenting with different ratios and types of e-juice, you can find the perfect balance that suits your personal preferences and vaping style.

Whether you’re chasing clouds, seeking strong flavors, or just want a smooth, enjoyable experience, there’s a PG/VG blend out there for you. And with the variety of specialized e-juices available.

So, grab your favorite device, load it up with your chosen e-juice, and dive into the world of vaping.


Q1: What are PG and VG, and what do they stand for?
A1: PG stands for Propylene Glycol.
VG stands for Vegetable Glycerin.

Q2: What are the primary uses of PG and VG in products?
A2: Propylene Glycol (PG):

  • Food: preservative, moisture retention
  • Cosmetics: moisturizing agent
  • Pharmaceuticals: solvent, consistency enhancer
  • Vaping: flavor carrier, throat hit

Vegetable Glycerin (VG):

  • Food: sweetener, thickener
  • Cosmetics: moisturizer
  • Pharmaceuticals: soothing agent
  • Vaping: vapor production adds sweetness

Q3: What are the main differences between PG and VG?
A3: Consistency: PG is thinner; VG is thicker.
Flavor: PG carries flavors better; VG is slightly sweet.
Throat Hit: PG provides a strong hit; VG is smoother.
Vapor Production: PG produces less vapor; VG creates thick clouds.
Sensitivities: PG can cause irritation/allergies; VG is generally hypoallergenic.
Coil Buildup: PG causes less buildup; VG leads to faster buildup.

Q4: How do PG and VG affect the vaping experience differently?
A4: Flavor: PG offers more intense flavors; VG is smoother and sweeter.
Throat Hit: PG gives a stronger hit; VG is gentler.
Vapor Production: PG produces less vapor; VG results in large clouds.
Sensitivities: PG may cause irritation; VG is usually safer.

Q5: Can PG and VG be used interchangeably in vaping liquids?
A5: No, PG and VG cannot be used interchangeably. They have distinct properties that affect flavor, throat hit, vapor production, and potential sensitivities. Most e-liquids use a blend of both to balance these factors.

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