Eliquid – All You Ever Wanted To Know But Were Too Afraid To Ask

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There will be those of you who will be reading this from a complete novice point of view and then there will be other more experienced vapers who might know a little more but have one or two questions about eliquid in which they would like to get answered. Here at Simply Eliquid we hear questions regarding eliquid all the time so thought it was about time we put together a detailed post which would aim to answer the most asked eliquid questions.

eliquid bottle

The main areas of questions we will be answering in this post are listed as follows, however if there is something that we have missed out please leave a comment in the box below and we will do our best to answer it for you.

1)  What is Eliquid (always a good place to start)

2) Nicotine

3) Bases

4) Food Flavouring

5) DIY

6) Storage

WHAT IS ELIQUID

Eliquid can go by many names, of which we are sure you have probably heard of. These include eliquid, ejuice, vapour juice, vapour liquid and more.

Eliquid is essentially the liquid that fuels the electronic cigarette. It contains very few ingredients and is what makes the cloud of vapour you see people exhaling.

A definition of eliquid is as follows:

Eliquid is the solution that is used in electronic cigarettes. It is made up primarily of vegetable glycerine, propylene glycol, nicotine and flavourings.

eliquid definition
ELIQUID INGREDIENTS

Eliquid can contain all or some of the below:

– Nicotine

– Bases (PG, VG)

– Food Flavourings

– dis Water

– Tiny Bit Of Alcohol

Sometimes an added extra of this or that! (always know what is in your eliquid, buying from reputable vendors will most likely be fine but if you are buying your eliquid elsewhere there could be things in the ejuice which could be harmful)

Just like a lot of things eliquid is more than the sum of its parts.  Alone they are just normal everyday ingredients however mixed together in the right way and added together in the correct quantities and you get a magical vaping concoction.

Nicotine

Nicotine is a toxic colourless or yellowish oily chemical compound that is present in tobacco. When inhaled nicotine travels through the bloodstream to the brain where it stimulates the adrenal glands to produce epinephrine aka adrenaline.  In addition it also stimulates the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that has a direct effect on the brains pleasure centre; this is responsible for its addictive nature.

In regards to eliquid you can purchase flavours that contain zero nicotine, the main reason being for people who want to use electronic cigarettes but for the tasting of flavours rather than to fix there nicotine craving.

Eliquids come in varying different nicotine strengths with the idea being that a vaper, someone who uses an electronic cigarette, can start at a level similar to that of a regular cigarette and then over time buy lower strengths and wean themselves from the nicotine addiction.

nicotine - tobacco plant
Common eliquid strengths are as follows:

Zero

As mentioned above the zero strength nicotine is usually bought by people that just like to use electronic cigarettes and try out the varying different flavours.

2mg-6mg (Very Light)

For vapers who are not quite ready to go nicotine free but only want a minuscule amount of nicotine in their eliquid

8mg-12mg

8mgs is more for a light smoker who would usually smoke maybe around half a packet a day. If you buy an eliquid that is more towards the 12mg strength then as an “average” smoker this would be the strength for you.

Important Note: The nicotine in normal cigarettes gets absorbed quicker than eliquid does so for this reason if you are a smoker who is looking to electronic cigarettes to help you quit smoking than you may want to choose a strength of around 18+ for the initial few days before moving to 12mg  or lower.

18mg (High)

If you smoked around a pack and a half a day then this strength of eliquid would be a good starting point for yourself.

24mg-26mg (very High)

If you are a heavy smoker and smoked around 2 packs a day then you might want to start here before trying to wean yourself down.

30mg + (Extreme)

Most smokers will not even come close to needing 30mg or more but for those of you that smoked more than 2 packs a day and really had a serious addition the 30mg + range will be what your looking for.

ELIQUID BASES

With eliquid there is usually 3 base ingredients used to provide a smooth, rich, full flavour. These are:

VG (Vegetable Glycerin)

Vegetable Glycerin is clear, colourless and is highly miscible with water. It is usually used in lower ratios than PG and is the thickest of the 3 bases. Using VG alone you can expect to produce more, thick vapour but in the process the life expectancy of your atomizer will often decrease.

PG (Propylene Glycol)

Propylene Glycol is also clear, colourless and is highly miscible with water. It is used as a carrier base to carry the flavours and nicotine into vapour form when the eliquid is heated up. PG is the better carrier out of PG and VG but produces a lot less vapour.

Propylene Glycol is a lot more watery and as a general rule enhances the flavour of the eliquid. Also those looking to get a good throat hit should look for an eliquid with this nicotine base.

Mixture (Some VG & Some PG)

Depending on the mixture there can be more of PG, VG or an even 50/50 split. For people who like to mix their own eliquid mixing different percentages of each can produce truly unique results.

Important Note: Some people can be allergic to either PG, VG or in some cases both! If you think you may have experienced an allergic reaction then you should stop using the nicotine base and if possible use another.

If you are planning on creating your own eliquid and are buying bases you need to make sure that the grade of the base is ‘pharmaceutical’ and nothing else. There is a ‘food’ grade base which you would think would be safe to use however this has only been passed for consumption via the digestive system and can be harmful when inhaled into the lungs.

 

ELIQUID FOOD FLAVOURING

How well do you know your food flavourings? These are used to improve or modify taste and/or odour. As you would expect these are what give the eliquid its flavour from strawberry and apple to marshmallow and cola. The main 3 types of flavourings used in foods are:

Natural Flavouring:

these types of flavouring are acquired from animals or plants and are used either in their natural state or processed.

Nature-Identical Flavouring:

These are chemically exactly the same as natural flavourings however they are synthesised.

Artificial Flavouring:

Although these are chemically different to natural flavourings, sensory wise they are exactly the same. These are produced through a process called fractional distillation and chemical manipulation.

Due to the complex and stringent nature of how the artificial flavours are produced it is said that these could be safer to consume than the natural flavourings which in contrast could contain impurities which would be screened out in artificial process.

eliquid flavours

DIY ELIQUID

Since DIY eliquid is a very extensive and complex subject this eliquid guide won’t be going into too much detail about it. For a more extensive guide see here

So lets look at basic stuff you will need:

  • Bottle/s of Base/s (PG, VG)
  • Bottle of Flavour
  • Syringe, eye dropper, pipette
  • Gloves

As stated above we won’t be going into too much detail here but on a basic level DIY eliquid is fairly straight forward:

  1. Pick a nicotine Strength
  2. Decide base
  3. Choose the flavour of your liking
  4. Find an eliquid calculator (there are lots online, Google “eliquid calculator” to find them)
  5. Add the specific amounts determined from the calculator
  6. Mix the eliquid thoroughly
  7. Vape away

If you find that the flavour of the eliquid is too weak, don’t panic, just simply add more. It is advised that you start low and then add to your mix until you get the perfect ratio.

Example DIY Eliquid Mixture

For this example we will assume we are trying to create a 10ml, 18mg PG Strawberry flavoured eliquid.

Taking the above into consideration we will need:

  • A bottle of 18mg PG mix (10ml bottle)
  • A bottle of strawberry flavouring
  • A syringe
  • Eliquid Calculator

Initially open up your eliquid calculator and type in the information into the relevant boxes as seen in the screenshot below:

eliquid calc screenshot

As I wanted to create an 18mg eliquid I typed 18 into the first 2 boxes. Next I inputted 10ml into the amount to create as this is how much I want to produce. I have ignored the optional option of adding water and put 12% into the flavour box. The flavour box is really all trial and error, some people prefer their eliquid to have a strong flavour and others prefer a softer taste.

Using the online calculator, to make my desired eliquid I would need to add 1.2ml of the strawberry flavouring to my 18mg PG mix. It’s that simple!

ELIQUID STORAGE

Eliquids are affected by light and heat so it is very important that you store your eliquid in a cool dark place such as your fridge. If your eliquid has a PG base then it will last slightly longer than the others as it naturally has properties that kill off bacteria and viruses. VG on the other hand is more susceptible to degradation my microorganisms when it is stored for prolonged periods of time – however if you buy your eliquid from a reputable vendor then the chances of this happening will be quite rare.

If you are looking to store your eliquid for a long time then it would be a good idea to deep freeze them. Also if you have received your eliquid in plastic bottles, which most of you will, then for long term storage make sure to transfer the eliquid to glass bottles instead which will keep the eliquid in a good condition for longer.

 

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