Vegetable Glycerin (VG) or vegetable glycerol is a carbohydrate usually obtained from plant oils. In the e-cigarette industry, VG is used as a base for e-liquid, but it has a variety of other uses, like ingredient for various cosmetic products and sweetener for food products.
Unlike propylene glycol, which has no taste, vegetable glycerin has a certain sweetness to it, which sometimes affects the flavor of the e-liquid. It’s also slightly more viscous, which many vapers believe shortens the lifespan of e-cigarette atomizers, although the reduction does not seem to be that dramatic. The increase thickness of VG also has an upside – it produces considerably thicker vapor compared to PG-based e-liquids. To get the best of both worlds, many e-liquid producers mix both propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin in their juices, with the most preferred ratio being 80% PG/20% VG.
Both vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol are classified as “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA, and is considered one of the most benign organic substances known to man. It is hype-allergenic, non-carcinigeic, non teratogenic and non-mutagenic. Compared to propylene glycol, VG very rarely causes allergic reactions. the only people which may experience problems with the metabolization of vegetable glycerin are diabetics.
Within the first few weeks of switching to electronic cigarettes, the inhalation of vegetable glycerin may cause a series of side-effects, like dry mouth, increased thirst or throat soreness. These symptoms usually subside after a few weeks, especially when plenty of water and other liquids are consumed.