When it comes to vaping and e-juice, Vegetable Glycerin (VG), sometimes called vegetable glycol, is one of the main ingredients in most e-liquids. It’s typically combined or blended with varying amounts propylene glycol to balance viscosity, vapor production, flavor, and overall vaping experience.
As one of the most common compounds in the industry, you might be curious as to what VG actually is, why it is one of the main ingredients in vape juices, and the effects of consuming vegetable glycerin.
What is Vegetable Glycerin?
Vegetable Glycerin is chemically an organic alcohol derived from plant oils. It’s typically produced from palm, soy, or coconut oil, but most of the vegetable glycerin you will find for vaping comes from palm oils because of the light sweet taste and smoothness.
At room temperature, vegetable glycerin is a liquid with a thick, almost syrup-like consistency. VG is slightly thicker than cooking oil but not as thick as say corn starch, and it is virtually odorless.
Why Use Vegetable Glycerin for Vaping and E-Juice?
Most e-juices and e-liquids on the market today consist of some ratio of VG and PG. One might commonly find 80% VG 20% PG, 70/30, and 50/50 e-juice blends. Vegetable glycerin is used for vaping for many reasons:
Vapor Production (AKA bigger clouds) - the characteristics and thick consistency of VG allow it to create a large amount of thick, dense aerosol vapor when vaporized, much more than propylene glycol creates. Some e-cigarette users prefer lots of vapor or “clouds” and choose e-juice with a higher VG percentage.
PG Balance – VG balances out the sometimes harsh “throat hit” that you get from propylene glycol, giving you a smooth, thick draw of vapor.
Odorless – since vegetable glycerin doesn’t really have a smell, it doesn’t compromise the flavor profile or scent of e-juice. This makes it the perfect base for creating a virtually endless amount of scents and flavors unaffected by the base.
Light Sweet Taste – the light sweet taste of pure vegetable glycerin makes it great for dessert and fruit flavors, gently enhancing the e-juice.
What are the Effects of Using Vegetable Glycerin?
Although very minor, using e-juice that contains VG could result in side effects such as increased thirst, dry mouth, and sore throat. Many sources recommend that you drink more water when inhaling VG and any side effects should go away within a few days as your body becomes more accustomed to it.
If you have a vegetable glycerin allergy, you would most likely already know as it is used in many foods and drinks as well as skin and hair products and in this case, you should avoid e-juices with VG in them.
Is Vegetable Glycerin Safe?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved some uses and dosages of vegetable glycerin as safe. In fact, it is commonly used in many different industries including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and hygiene and beauty products. As far as inhalation, there is little scholarly research available but the FDA does not currently consider vegetable glycerin as hazardous for inhalation.
Other Applications for Vegetable Glycerin
You can find VG in products for skin conditioning, scrape or burn ointment, lip balm, cough syrup, and hair products. And due to its sweetener qualities, it is used in low-fat foods and beverages, like protein shakes and low fat cookies.
Where Can I Buy Vegetable Glycerin?
If you’re looking to make your own e-juice, you are probably wondering where to buy vegetable glycerin. Sometimes, you are able to find it in local stores but for the best vaping experience, you will need high quality vegetable glycerin.
Nicotine River provides USP Vegetable Glycerin to premium quality e-juice manufacturers and DIY e-juice makers alike. Check out the rest of our site to find everything you need to make quality e-liquid.