You may have the coolest, most expensive electronic cigarette (e-cig) in the world. But once it runs out of vape juice, all that you’re left with is a costly keychain accessory. E-liquid is the fuel that e-cigs run on. It goes by several names too. So whether you know it as vaping liquid, e-cig juice, e-liquid, or e-juice, it is the same thing.
When your e-cig runs out of e-juice for the first time, you may be at a loss over what type of e-liquid to go for next since there are numerous options out there. Lucky for you, this guide is mainly for uncomplicating the process of picking out the best e-juice.
First, What Exactly Is Vape Juice?
E-liquid is the liquid that gets converted into vapor when you smoke an e-cig. It is, therefore, safe to say that your entire e-cig experience is dictated by the type of e-juice you settle for. This is where it becomes overwhelming: there are hundreds of different types of e-liquids. All of which are classified according to merits like flavor, viscosity, sweetness, and even nicotine content.
To better understand exactly what vape liquid is, let’s break it down into its four main ingredients.
4 Key Ingredients of Vape Juice
Propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) are two of the most common base liquids in vape liquid! The base liquids have different properties. Although PG or VG is the simple ingredient of some vape liquids, you’ll find that most vape liquids contain a blend of both.
PG and VG are both colorless and odorless liquids. That is as far as their similarities go. PG is a by-product derived from petroleum, many goods use it, such as lotion, baby wipes, shampoo, makeup, and even medicine. The base liquid is safe to use topically or orally for humans, but it is toxic to cats.
VG comes from vegetable oil and is also used in toothpaste, lotion, food, deodorant, and soap. It is generally known as a safe substance to use orally or topically. Moreover, it is much less likely to cause allergic reactions compared to PG.
The base liquids in vape oil are the carriers of the rest of the ingredients.
Nicotine is arguably the “meat of the matter” as far as e-liquids are concerned. E-liquids come in different nicotine strengths, so you’ll have to know what your daily nicotine intake is before setting for one.
The brands usually indicate nicotine levels on the label. Nicotine quantities in vape oil are measured in mg/mL units. Low in nicotine with 3 to 6mg/mL, 12 to 16mg/mL is the medium nicotine content, and 18 to 24mg/mL is high in nicotine. Some brands make vape oil with even higher nicotine levels. And you will also find plenty of nicotine-free e-juices if you wish to combine them with your herb.
Most vapers tend to think that flavor is the most important consideration to make when buying vape liquid. Though they’re not completely wrong, it makes more sense first to pick a nicotine level you’re comfortable with before moving on to a flavor.
E-liquids today come in a variety of flavors. Whether you prefer the classic tobacco taste or are more into fruity flavors or food-flavored e-juices, there is rich variety for e-juice as far as flavors go.
Tobacco blends are still quite popular especially since they help smokers transit from normal cigarettes to e-cigs. E-juice manufacturers know this, so they provide a number of tobacco blends that have the same taste as popular cigarette brands.
Fruit flavors include the usual mango, apple, watermelon, grape, and berry flavors. Food flavors, on the other hand, can vary wildly from snacks like pizza and wafers to desserts like chocolate cake and ice cream.
E-juice can be infused with an infinite number of flavors, so you will never lack options when picking the right taste.
How to Choose the Best Vape Juice Every Time
Now that you’re familiar with the contents of vape liquid, you at least have an idea of what you might like or not like in your e-liquids. This is important because, ultimately, your personal preferences on nicotine, flavor, and the ratio of base liquid used will influence your decision.
Here are the things to consider when choosing e-liquid:
Let's Dive Right in! PG/VG RATIO
Why does the ratio of base liquid in e-liqiud matter if they’re both colorless and odorless liquids? Simple, because PG and VG have very different properties.
PG is thinner than VG, which is quite viscous and tends to leave a gunky residue. Using higher VG ratios, therefore, means that you’ll have to clean your e-cigs more frequently to get rid of this buildup.
Most people prefer PG because it delivers a more powerful throat hit and has richer, more intense flavors. VG, on the other hand, is popular because it produces more vapor (if you see thick, fluffy clouds of vapor, that indicates a higher VG ratio), has a natural sweetness, and a high resistance for heat unlike PG, which can get a burned flavor when heated excessively. It is also safer for people with allergies.
What Is the Ideal PG/VG Ratio?
50/50 is the most common PG/VG ratio you’ll find, and it is a nice balance for the average vaper.
Competitive vapers with sub ohm vape mods might prefer a 70/30 ratio in favor of VG since it produces much more vapor than PG.
If you’re all about the flavor, a 60/40 ratio in favor of PG might suit you as it produces richer flavors.
But if the taste is what matters to you, VG is naturally sweeter and therefore more common in candy-flavored e-liquids.
Different vape liquids have different nicotine strengths to suit different classes of smokers.
Low-strength nicotine vape liquid will suit light smokers best (people who smoke less than half a pack a day). A 10ml bottle of low-nicotine e-liquid contains about 30mg of nicotine.
In contrast, a medium-strength 10ml bottle of nicotine vape liquid, which suits people that smoke one pack a day or less, contains 120mg of nicotine.
High nicotine vape liquid contains at least 240mg of nicotine in a 10ml bottle. And it is suitable for heavy chain-smokers (more than two packs a day) the best.
There are also numerous nicotine-free iterations of vape liquid for non-smokers as well as e-liquids with over 36mg/mL of nicotine for heavy cigarette smokers.
If you’re looking to cut down on your nicotine consumption, starting from a high-nicotine vape liquid. Working your way down to the low-nicotine e-liquids is quite easy. Your nicotine intake will gradually reduce until you’re comfortable vaping on low-nicotine e-juice or even a nicotine-free e-liquid.
Now we get to the exciting part-picking the best e-juice flavors!
Straight off the bat, you should know that this is going to be a very personal decision. It all boils down to what you find palatable enough to vape. So rather than feel overwhelmed by the numerous blends and mixes available, start simple and work your way to the more complex flavors.
There’re the usual straight single flavors, the vanillas, the strawberries, the pineapples, and so on. These tend to be the safest bet since you’re already familiar with such flavors from your favorite desserts and drinks.
Smokers looking for a transition to vaping will find tobacco blends quite comforting. Many e-juice manufacturers are considerate enough to create flavors that mimic your favorite brand of cigarettes, including menthols.
Food flavors are also quite common. Anything from fried chicken to pizza to pot roast can be turned into vape liquid flavor. Thus, it’s all a matter of what works for you and what doesn’t. Experiment with smaller bottles of e-liquid first and if you find a flavor you like, you can then stock up on it.
There are also alcohol-flavored blends out there. So if you wish to vape something that tastes like wine, brandy, or your favorite brand of beer, you can sample a few of these to see if you like them.
Flavor is a key consideration when choosing a vape liquid that works for you, because if you don’t like the flavor, then you won’t vape at all.
It's an Easy Decision
Now that you know everything there is to know about vape liquid and how to find the one that’s right for you, what’s left is making an easy decision: how much of it should I buy?
If you’re already familiar with a particular flavor and are certain that you’ll like it, stock up on it. Newer flavors should not be bought in bulk. Because you might end up getting rid of a good batch of e-liquids, just simply for the taste.
Keep it simple and keep it personal, that’s the motto that should guide you when you’re shopping for vape juice.