Making e-liquid is not a fast and simple process; it takes time and patience. That’s, in part, because the ingredients that make up each e-liquid concoction take time and care to put together. They need to be carefully combined, measured and blended. But what are these ingredients – and why, on their own and together, are they so important to an e-liquid …?
What goes into making an e-liquid?
Essentially, creating an e-liquid is like mixing together a recipe – and when you’re talking premium e-juices that’s comparable to creating and/ or following a recipe for a gourmet meal. In fact, maybe the best comparison to creating and blending a vape liquid is with making a perfume or aftershave; all the chemicals have to complement each other and, in order to do so, have to be blended to varying strengths and consistencies.
The base of any e-juice is provided by a mix of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), then on top of these are added touches of flavourings (exactly the same sort of flavourings that are added to foods). Finally, if necessary, a specific percentage of nicotine is added into the mix. Shaken, to aid the blending process, the e-liquid’s then left to stand and mix together for several days, which ensures the flavour becomes as rich and potent as possible. Often this is referred to as ‘steeping’ (indeed, when it comes to purchasing premium eliquid), many vapers like to practice their own steeping at home, with the result being they can enjoy, after a short time, the best tasting vape juice possible.
What’s the deal with PG and VG?
Like the flavourings that go into vape liquids, both PG and VG also regularly pop up as additives in different foods you’ll be more than familiar with; such as both biscuits and ice cream. In a vape juice, though, in addition to helping dilute its nicotine content (as necessary), the ratio of PG to VG – and vice versa – has a significant effect on the sort of juice that’s created.
PG is not a friend to flavour as it doesn’t have much of an effect on it in an e-liquid at all; to that end, it’s often deployed as the true base in a juice and, when it dominates over VG, it’ll deliver one of a thinner consistency, which means thinner vapour clouds and less of a harsh, unpleasant hit when you’re in the mood for a nonetheless throaty hit.
In contrast, VG aids and abets the flavour of an e-liquid, so long as that flavour’s already sweet (as it’s naturally sweet in taste); if the flavour’s not sweet then a blend with a dominant VG amount’s not going to be a good mix taste-wise. That said, VG can be relied on to contribute greatly to producing big vapour plumes; hence high-VG juices tend to be favourites among cloud chasers.
What’s the deal with nicotine?
A chemical that naturally occurs in several different plant species (some of them very edible), nicotine is extremely famous for its stimulant effect on the body, in a similar manner to that provided by caffeine; when the latter’s present in tea and especially coffee and some carbonated drinks. In fact, nicotine’s been shown, among other things, to promote alertness, sharpness, relaxation and calmness and there’s even evidence that it might just be able to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and delay the onset of Parkinson’s disease, as well as help adults suffering from nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy seizures, treat major depressive disorder and help adults suffering from the symptoms of acute obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
All that may be true but, of course, there’s also little doubt that nicotine’s highly addictive – or is there? In actual fact, recent research questions whether this may only be the case in conjunction with other chemicals found solely in cigarettes. All the same, it is generally perceived to be addictive, which is why its presence in many e-liquids – either premium kinds or those that could find themselves belonging to e liquid clearance – seems to help so many smokers become ex-smokers. For, what they crave is the addictive hit of nicotine, not the highly toxic, carcinogenic chemicals present in the tobacco tar of a cigarette.