What is E-Liquid or E-Juice?
After the recent barrage against the vaping industry, perhaps you’re thinking to yourself what are e-liquids If you’re trying to figure out what is causing all this clamor, the devil is in the details. Unfortunately, the details shared by the media are murky. After all, the root cause alludes to counterfeit THC oil products sold from illegal vendors, but news outlets fail to mention it. That being said, we can now ask the better questions such as, “what are e liquids and what constitutes a safe and proper vape juice?”
Don’t be scared! A properly concocted vape juice isn’t causing these problems you read in the news. The distinction between the illicit oil and vape juice is highly nuanced to the layman that the media simply groups vaping and all its different layers into one category. Remember, we lived without severe lung illnesses for the past decade because those who vape properly buy from legal and licensed sellers (such as our dear host: ProVape.) I wanted to preface this article by addressing the elephant in the room.
What is in Vape Juice?
Let’s get down to brass tacks. Answering the “what is e-juice” question automatically answers “what is e-liquid” – because they’re one and the same. The terms vape juice, e-juice and e-liquid are used interchangeably throughout the vaping community. The vape juice is the liquid that passes through the vaporizer and becomes the cloudy garlands of vapor you so gently puff out of your gullet.
You can find these in different flavors with different ingredient percentages, each tailored to your vaping preference. But what is in vape juice then? In a nutshell: Propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, food flavoring, water, and nicotine. Please note that these ingredients vary in percentages - or exclusions in the case of nicotine-free vape juices.
Propylene glycol, also known as PG, is considered an organic compound (a chemical that contains carbon). Glycols have very low toxicity by design, but we will focus on the edible aspect of PG. Many products such as ice cream, soda, whipped cream, coffee, contain propylene glycol. According to the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the oral consumption of PG is very low in toxicity. In fact, it would require extremely large quantities to cause health problems.
Why would they add this chemical in foods, first of all?
PG is used as an additive. It’s what helps keep the food’s texture and increased shelf life. Healthline provides a list of ways PG may be used: anti-caking agent, antioxidant, emulsifier, moisture preserver, processing aid, texturizer, etc.
Why is propylene glycol invape juice, then?
The odorless substance creates a “throat hit” when inhaled, mimicking the experience of smoking a traditional cigarette. It is also an effective carrier of flavor, and when mixed with vegetable glycerin, it becomes an ideal component of vape juice.
Vegetable glycerin is a natural chemical derived from vegetable oil. This chemical creates that robust feeling as the vapor tumbles out of your lungs. The higher the VG, the cooler and smoother the vapor feels. It’s also considered ideal for sub-ohm vaping (a style of vaping with the goal of producing the biggest cloud of vapor possible). Much like PG, this chemical is used on a lot of household items and foods and is created with palm oils, coconut oils, and soybean. You can typically find it in candy, fudge, pasta, deodorant, cereals, etc. Healthline describes it as, “a clear, odorless, sweet-tasting liquid derived from vegetable fats.”
According to Vaping360, vegetable glycerin reduces the life of atomizers a lot faster than PG-based liquids. VG clogs the coils faster than PG. Some of the side effects of vaping high VG vape juices are getting dry mouth, sore throats, and becoming generally thirsty. VG has high vapor density hence the preference for sub-ohm vaping, as we mentioned earlier. Also, PG normally packs heavier nicotine percentages, and sub-ohm vaping requires heavy inhaling that could cause nicotine poisoning if consumed improperly.
It’s the same used in candy and other products such as chocolate bars, soft drinks, ice cream, etc. It’s a highly common ingredient used in probably 90% of things we’re already consumed by eating or drinking. Food Additives World provides this description, “flavorings are used as food additives for altering and/or enhancing the flavors of natural food products. Sometimes, food flavorings are also used to create the flavor for food products that do not have desired flavors such as candies and other snacks.”
Water and nicotine
The last two components of vape juice are water and nicotine. Water is self-explanatory but nicotine requires a post of its own, but in summary, each bottle contains a nicotine percentage. You can find it in 3mg, 6mg, 12mg, 50mg, and other variations. There’s a nicotine salt formulation as well with heavy nicotine created from a more powerful formula that provides better flavor and the aforementioned throat-hits. The nicotine percentage is up to your personal preference.
To summarize what is e liquid, the vegetable glycerin provides those epic clouds of vapor we crave sometimes. It infuses your taste buds with a sweeter flavor as well. On the other hand, propylene glycol creates powerful nicotine hit closer to smoking a real cigarette. People who dislike robust throat hits may choose high VG concentrations.
Then we have the food flavorings, which gives us a plethora of delicious flavors to choose from (dessert, fruit, mint flavors). And lastly, the nicotine levels. If you were frantically typing what is e juice on Google, attempting to find out if your vape is gonna end you in the E.R., fret not. As long as you stay away from illicit products and unlicensed vendors, you should be safe.