What Is Vape Juice Made Of?
Vaping has gained significant popularity in recent years.
If you’re a vaper, you might be wondering what exactly goes into the creation of vape juice.
Vape pens use a battery to heat up a special e-liquid into an aerosol that users inhale.
Knowing what’s inside vape juice allows you to pick the right type that aligns with your preferences and needs, such as optimal VG/PG ratios and nicotine content.
Below, we cover what’s inside vape juice and how these liquids are made.
What Does Vape Juice Contain?
Vape juice is a liquid inside electronic cigarettes that, when heated, turns into vapour. E-liquid is made up of several core ingredients:
- Propylene Glycol (PG)
- Vegetable Glycerin (VG)
Understanding the ingredients helps you make smarter choices to minimize health risks or simply optimize your experience to your liking.
PG – Propylene Glycol
Propylene glycol (PG) is a colourless, odourless, slightly viscous liquid derived from propylene oxide or laboratory synthesis. The thin texture allows it to vapourize quickly when heated.
The main purpose of PG is that it helps to ensure the vape juice ingredients mix and don’t separate even when they sit for long periods. It also attracts and retains moisture in e-liquids, which is why it doesn’t dry out even when exposed to air.
Due to its solving capabilities, PG serves as the primary carrier of nicotine and e-juice flavouring. The qualities of PG prevent microbial growth, allowing vape juices to have a long shelf life without getting spoiled.
Higher contents of PG contribute to a stronger throat hit sensation and greater intensity of flavours, but higher PG content tends to produce less dense vapour than those with higher VG content.
VG – Vegetable Glycerin
Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a slightly sweet and odourless natural chemical derived from vegetable oils.
It’s a thicker, more viscous liquid, which helps to create denser vapour clouds. This quality makes it a popular choice for cloud-chasers or those who prefer more visible, smooth vapour when vaping.
Ultimately, the purpose of vegetable glycerin is to act as an emulsifier, helping to blend and stabilize the ingredients in vape juice. VG, like PG, has humectant properties, meaning it can absorb and retain moisture, preventing dry hits. Also, VG acts as a solvent, allowing the liquid to carry the various flavourings for a better experience.
Nicotine is an addictive chemical compound that’s extracted from tobacco. The nicotine concentration varies, and some options are even nicotine-free.
Vape juices that contain nicotine come in various concentrations, ranging from 3mg/mL to 18 mg/mL. While there are even higher levels, Canada has restricted the sale of vape products with a nicotine concentration of20 mg/mL or higher.
Flavour concentrates are water-soluble and typically manufactured by companies that also make food flavouring and fragrances. They range from fruity combinations to chocolate, tobacco, and more. Many e-juices also contain sweeteners like sucralose.
How Is Vape Juice Made?
Making vape juice is a lengthy process. Like any other recipe, the ingredients must be carefully measured before mixing. Try using a vape juice calculator, where you can insert your desired VG/PG ratio, nicotine strength and desired volume to come up with the specific measurements you need.
Start by preparing your base mixture in a beaker. Use syringes to extract the desired PG and VG amounts based on the ratio and amount of vape juice you’d like to make. The VG and PG can be combined in specific ratios to achieve your desired vapour production and consistency. The most common ratios are 50/50, 70/30 or 80/20.
Next, you can add flavour concentrates into the mix. It only requires a dash of flavouring to provide the juice with the punch it needs. As a rule of thumb, having concentrates take up 5% of your entire volume results in a subtle flavour, whereas 20% of concentrates results in a highly sweet taste.
Once flavours are added, you’re ready to incorporate nicotine into the mix. If you’re pursuing vape juice without nicotine, you can skip this step.
There are many types of nicotine you can use, such as freebase nicotine and nicotine salts. Freebase ones provide a quicker nicotine delivery and more harsh throat hits. Nic salts are combined with organic acid, resulting in a smoother vaping experience even at higher concentrations. Add the desired nicotine amount to the mixture thoroughly to ensure everything is blended well.
Next, transfer the juice mix from the mixing beaker to a bottle to store them. Let it sit for four to five days, allowing the flavour to build texture and become richer. This steeping process works in the same way you’d allow a bottle of wine to air before drinking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Vape Juice Just Tobacco Juice?
No, vape juice isn’t tobacco juice. While some vape juices may contain nicotine derived from tobacco, not all do. Vape juice consists of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and nicotine.
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The beauty of vape juices is that you can experiment with different flavours to fit your taste buds.
Understanding the ingredients and their purpose allows you to choose the right PG/VG ratio and your preferred nicotine strength.
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Also in Vape Knowledge
Disposable vapes are pre-charged vape devices that come pre-filled with e-liquid. While reusable vapes such as vape pens and mods can be reused, disposable vapes become unusable once you exhaust the e-liquid tank or the battery (unless the disposable vape is rechargeable).
There are all sorts of reasons you might be considering a nicotine-free vape. Maybe you enjoy the flavour, or maybe you're considering using it as an aid to quit smoking.