Vape Juice Guide – What is Vape Juice?

What exactly is vape juice? PG/VG, flavors, nicotine content, and more.

What is in vape juice? Main ingredients

To answer ‘what is vape juice?’ we must ask, what is in vape juice?

There are a few base ingredients in e-liquid that you need to know about.

Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

PG and VG

Ah, Propylene Glycol (PG) and Vegetable Glycerin (VG). The base ingredients of the universe of vaping. Without these two e-liquid ingredients, there would be no e-cigarettes.

Read our full guide on PG and VG here.

Propylene Glycol

PG is a colorless, odorless liquid that carries flavor. It is made from laboratory synthesis of Propylene oxide. You might have seen PG listed on the back of skincare, makeup, and even food products.

In the world of vaping, PG has a vital role. It ensures that the ingredients in e-liquid mix together and it also retains moisture. It doesn’t matter how long you leave your liquid exposed to the air, it won’t dry out as long as it has a decent PG ratio.

PG also promises bold flavors and throat hits. It creates the burning sensation that vapers know and love. For stronger throat hits, choose a higher PG ratio. The highest that PG tends to go is 50:50, but some brands create 60PG:40VG mixtures.

Even better, PG stops microbial growth. Other substances can’t grow in your liquid, and your liquid won’t spoil for a long time.

Vegetable Glycerin

VG is an odorless, thick ingredient that is derived from plant fats, hence the name. VG is far thicker than PG, so vapers have to be careful about which electronic cigarettes they pair with high-VG vape juice. This is especially true of liquids that contain a 100% vegetable glycerin base.

Like PG, VG emulsifies e-liquids, traps moisture, and prevents bacterial growth. Of course, VG would not be one of the most popular e-liquid ingredients if it didn’t have some unique properties.

If you’re into vaping massive cloud vapor, you’ll love VG. VG creates dense, impressive clouds that will leave even the biggest cloud chaser feeling amazed. It is also naturally sweet, so it pairs well with dessert and fruit flavors.

Did you know that you can get an e-liquid that contains neither flavorings nor nicotine? Of course, this kind of e-juice wouldn’t be very tasty. That’s why 99% of liquids come with flavors.

Vape Juice Flavorings


Of course, many cigarette liquids contain flavors. All the flavors that go into e-cigarette liquids have to be food-grade, which means they are free from toxic chemicals and harmful substances. In other words, they are safe for consumption.

There is a wide spectrum of flavors available for vapers who want to push themselves to experience new sensations. Whereas traditional cigarettes only come with a few flavorings, aerosol-based products like e-cigarettes are compatible with all sorts of flavors.

Dessert-based vape juice is common, with the likes of lemon tart taking center stage. Fruit flavors are another popular option. Raspberry, blueberry, and pear-flavored vape juice can remind you of sunnier times. It doesn’t stop there; you can choose from nostalgic sensations like bubble gum and strange concepts like roast chicken!

Flavors are never more than 10% of your vape juice. In fact, most liquids only contain 3-7% of your chosen flavor.

Nicotine content

You can’t take nicotine levels lightly. If you decide to buy a vape juice that contains nicotine content, you need to be aware of the implications and choose wisely.

Everyone’s heard of nicotine. It is the addictive substance that is present in cigarettes and e-liquids. The main difference is that cigarettes contain tobacco leaves, whereas e-juice just contains nicotine. Manufacturers extract nicotine straight from the tobacco leaf, which eliminates the need to include the leaf as well as many of the toxic chemicals that come with it.

There are lots of nicotine strengths to choose from. They increase incrementally, which means you can use a ladder approach to increase your consumption over time. This is by far the easiest way to increase or decrease the nicotine strength that your body is accustomed to.

Does vape juice expire or go bad?

Does vape juice expire or go bad?

The only downside to vaping instead of smoking is that liquids can go bad. The good news is that it takes a very long time for vape juice to expire or ‘go off’ in any kind of way.

All e-liquids (should) come with an expiration date. But before you focus on that, you need to be aware that vape juice doesn’t go off like bananas. Instead, the chemicals inside a standard vape juice degrade over time. You should use the expiration date as a starting point for when your e-liquids might start to degrade.

As long as you store your liquid in a dry, cool area, you’ll have a few years before it starts to spoil.

Signs your vape juices have gone bad

E-liquids usually tell you when they’re starting to go bad. Here are some of the most significant signs.

  • Smell – Does your e-liquid smell strange?
  • Taste – Does your e-liquid taste different, or like nothing at all?
  • Sight – Does your e-liquid look discolored?

Can I still use vape juices that have gone bad?

When all is said and done, e-liquid is quite hardy. If you use e-cigarettes, you’ve probably experimented with liquid that has an ‘off’ smell or a different color and lived to tell the tale.

The health risks of using old vape juice might be minimal, but you should always be safe rather than sorry. Avoid any harmful health effects by throwing old juice away and only vaping liquid before its expiration date.

Organic and Natural Vape Juice

Organic and natural vape juice

Never heard of organic e-liquid? You’re not alone. A lot of people don’t know that this kind of liquid exists.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, products can only be labeled organic if they are produced using ‘agricultural production practices that foster resource cycling, promote ecological balance, maintain and improve soil and water quality, minimize the use of synthetic materials, and conserve biodiversity.’ You can read about the other stipulations on the website.

So, how likely is it to buy certified 100% organic e-liquid?

Not very. To start with, much of the nicotine that goes into nicotine salt liquid and other vape products is extracted in a laboratory, which means that it goes against the regulations set out by the Department of Agriculture.

Secondly, most flavors are made in laboratories. Remember that buttery flavor that you love so much? How about peaches and cream? The manufacturer didn’t squash real peaches and cream into a tiny 10ml bottle; people in white coats made your favorite flavor. Again, this goes against the rules.

VG is the only ingredient that shows promise. It is generally safe to say that VG is organic because it comes from plant fats.

If you are intent on finding a 100% organic vape liquid, you might have to settle for a 100% VG mixture! These flavor and nicotine-free mixtures might seem a bit bland, but they are truly organic.

How to choose an E-Juice?

How to choose an E-Juice?

Now you know what is in vape juice, you need to choose one!

PG/VG Ratio

Ratios can be confusing.

As we’ve mentioned, VG is the most prominent part of the base ingredients. 100% VG liquids are popular among some sub-ohm cloud-chasers, but it is still one of the less common options. As much as sub-ohm vapers love clouds, they still appreciate flavors. Most of them settle for 80VG:20PG or 70VG:30PG mixtures.

50VG:50PG mixtures are popular with beginners. These vape juices are very well-rounded and can promise a small but pleasant amount of both flavor and vapor. These e-liquids are compatible with most low-wattage e-cigarettes, including starter kits.

For a more impactful throat hit, you need to buy e-liquids that contain a lot of propylene glycol. The highest e-liquid ratio that you can hope for is 60PG:40VG unless you make your own DIY vape juice.

Nicotine Content

If you don’t choose the right nicotine content, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Unlike cigarettes, aerosol products (in this case, e-liquids) contain incremental amounts of nicotine that can be measured. 0mg, 3mg, 6mg, 9mg, 12mg, 15mg, 18mg, and 20mg are common accounts.

Understanding nicotine content can be difficult, but there are only two questions that you need to ask yourself.

  • How much nicotine do I need to satisfy my cravings?If you currently smoke twenty cigarettes a day, 3mg nicotine-strength liquid isn’t going to cut it. By the same token, if you smoke two cigarettes a day, 20mg nicotine-strength liquid is going to be far too much. E-cigarettes can be difficult to handle at first, but once you get to grips with your ideal nicotine strength you’ll be fine. We recommend starting low and increasing your consumption.
  • Do I want to quit smoking or reduce my nicotine consumption?It is no secret that a lot of people switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes to reduce the amount of nicotine that they consume. If you want to quit smoking and nicotine at the same time, e-cigarettes are the perfect option. You can start with a comparable liquid, then graduate to nicotine-free liquid when you feel comfortable.
Nicotine Sickness

Nicotine Sickness

Nicotine sickness, or being nic sick, happens when someone inhales too much nicotine. This is a relatively common occurrence, especially for people who have just switched from tobacco products to vaping products. New vapers can be especially ambitious, but when they opt for a higher dosage of nicotine than necessary they could experience these symptoms of nic sickness.

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Tickly lungs
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing problems
  • Rashes

Nic sickness wears off after a few hours, but the long-term impact of having too much nicotine is alarming. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that 50 – 60 milligrams is a fatal dose for adults who weigh 150 lbs or less.

E-liquid pricing: what should it cost?

On the whole, e-cigarettes are more affordable than cigarettes. But what about liquids? They can’t be that much, right? After all, what is vape juice?

Liquids are available in 10mL, 20mL, 60mL, and 120mL bottles. Of course, if you make your own you can bulk-buy ingredients for less.

You can pay $20 for 120mL of standard liquid or $20 for 30mL of the good stuff. With so many price points, it’s difficult to know whether you’re getting a good deal.

A good starting point is that a standard 10mL bottle should cost between $5 and $10.

How should vape juice be stored?

Vape Juice FAQ

What happens if you accidentally swallow vape juice?

The long-term effects of swallowing a small amount of liquid that contains a small amount of nicotine are minimal.

If you’ve inhaled a decent amount of juice that contains a moderate amount of nicotine, you need to call poison control.

You don’t need to worry about swallowing liquid that doesn’t contain nicotine.

Does all vape juice have nicotine?

Nope! You can buy liquids that don’t contain nicotine. This eliminates a lot of the substances that could impact your lungs, heart, and overall health. No studies have definitively linked e-juice to these problems, but some would argue that the long-lasting health effects are currently unknown.

Does vape juice stain fabrics?

In most cases, e-juice doesn’t stain fabrics.

However, some juices contain harmful chemicals that can leave a stain. More often than not, a bit of dishwashing liquid solves the problem.

What is in vape juice that could stain fabrics? Additives.

How to clean up e-juice spill?

Put some gloves on, grab a kitchen towel, and get to work! It’s important to wear gloves because you can absorb nicotine through your skin. Use a surface cleaner to erase any trace amounts.

How should vape juice be stored?

We recommend putting your liquids in a cool, dry space. A pantry or a kitchen cupboard usually works perfectly.

If you have bought a dark-tinted e-liquid bottle, you don’t need to worry about storage. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should store your liquid near a heat source or a window.

Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez, a co-founder of our vaping website, is our esteemed Editor-in-Chief. With over a decade of experience in vaping, CBD, and cannabis, Jules is a knowledgeable and respected figure. His expertise spans vaping devices, e-liquids, CBD products, and cannabis-related topics, providing comprehensive insights. Jules's keen editorial eye ensures our content maintains the highest quality, accuracy, and relevance standards. His dedication fosters community and delivers reliable information on vaping, CBD, and cannabis, driving our website's growth. With Jules leading the way, we're a trusted resource for enthusiasts seeking valuable information and guidance.
CBDfx Gummies High-Potency 1500MG CBD

Related Articles

Best Vapes

Learn More About Vaping