So What is E-liquid, Exactly?
This entry was posted on March 13, 2014.
Well, the short and sweet answer is that e-liquid is the fluid used in the reservoir of an e-cig that is heated up to produce vapor which is then inhaled by the user.
It's the stuff that we puff.
The reality is that e-liquids come in a dazzling array of flavors, strengths, consistencies, and brands. Let's look at what similarities they have and what sets them all apart.
The majority of e-liquid manufacturers combine five ingredients in their e-liquids:
1. Propylene Glycol
2. Vegetable Glycerin
3. Nicotine Concentrate
4. Food Grade Flavoring
5. Distilled Water (for diluting if necessary)
Let's look at each one of these individually:
1. Propylene Glycol (PG) is something that most of you are already familiar with in a more theatrical setting - fog machines. It's the same stuff that pumps into the air at the House of Blues or during a Pink Floyd show. PG is also used in food colorings and as a flavor carrier in other food products.
2. Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is a thicker liquid component that PG derived from plants. It's commonly used in household items such as toothpaste and shampoo. Most e-liquids are made with a varying ratio of PG and VG resulting in different flavor and vapor producing mixtures. Higher VG ratios in the liquid will produce thicker clouds of vapor, but will require a hotter burn to pull that off. Using a variable voltage battery unit is recommended if you're going to go that route.
3. Nicotine Concentrate We're all pretty familiar with nicotine. The interesting thing about nicotine used by most e-liquid manufacturers is well over 95% pure. The levels of nicotine are precisely measured and Blackhat Electronic Cigarettes offers range from 0% to 3.6% per mL.
4. Food Grade Flavoring is almost self-explanatory. These flavors are commonly used in baked goods, candies, and beverages.
So that about sums it up. Like with anything else, individual tastes will vary widely! Some liquids play well in the average starter kit, while the homemade sub-ohm coil on a mechanical mod may require a bit more of a custom ordered liquid. There's thousands of combinations available, and we encourage you to try as many as you can. Who knows what you'll find! Apparently there's a bacon flavored liquid out there for those of you who are feeling particularly bold...