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What is E-Liquid?

What is E-Liquid exactly?
There are many questions and statements about what exactly is in the E-Liquid we use.

Let’s start by stating that E-Liquid and E-Cigarettes have not been around long enough for conclusive scientific studies of what the long term effects are on humans.

There have been short term studies on vapour that is inhaled into the lungs as well as studies on second hand vapour, which have all come back as having minimal to 0 adverse health effects on the user as well as second hand vapour.

E-Liquid also known as E-Juice is made up of 3 basic ingredients which are vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), Natural and Artificial Flavourings.
When heated becomes the vapour we inhale.

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable Glycerin, VG for short, is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. VG is a Non-Toxic, viscous, odorless, colorless, and sweet liquid usually added to cosmetics, food flavourings, and ice cream. VG can be made directly from vegetable oil, often coconut or palm oil, by heating it to a high temperature under pressure with water. The solution is then distilled to purify it. Manufacturers of E-Liquids use USP Food Grade Vegetable Glycerin which is 99.7% pure with the remaining 0.3% being water. E-Liquid manufacturers commonly use it as a base for the rest of the E-Juice. For vapers, VG is what produces most of the visible vapour clouds.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol or PG, is used to dilute the thickness of the VG liquid. PG makes the e-liquid easier for clearomizers with wicks or cotton to vape. It also produces a “throat hit” which mimics the feeling of the cigarette smoke that smokers are used to, helping people who are coming off cigarettes to still feel like they are getting that sensation.

Propylene Glycol has been researched and classified as “very low toxicity” and has been approved for use in food and other applications such as hospital air disinfectant and as a non-active ingredient in the aerosol used with inhalers for asthma patients.

Propylene Glycol serves as a great carrier for flavourings as it bonds with the flavour molecules a lot more effectively than VG.

Some potential applications for Propylene Glycol include cough syrups, toothpaste, mouthwashes, food preservatives, and non-toxic anti/deicing fluids.

Please note, a common misconception is that “E-Liquid has anti-freeze in it!” This is completely false. E-Liquid contains no anti-freeze whatsoever. Propylene Glycol is often commonly confused with ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is considered moderately toxic and is used in the Anti-Freeze you use in your car. The Propylene Glycol in E-Liquid is added to “Non-Toxic Anti-Freeze” used in food-processing systems or in water pipes in homes where incidental ingestion may be possible.

As confirmation of its relative non-toxicity, the FDA allows propylene glycol to be added to a large number of processed foods, including ice cream, frozen custard, salad dressings and baked goods.

A study conducted by the FDA in 1973 states: There is no evidence in the available information on propylene glycol and propylene glycol monostearate that demonstrates, or suggests reason to suspect, a hazard to the public. Propylene glycol does not cause sensitization (getting a worse reaction over time) and it shows no evidence of being a carcinogen or toxic.

Natural and Artificial Flavouring

Just like with food, there are 3 types of flavouring concentrates for E-Juice manufacturers to choose from when making E-Juice.

Natural flavouring, Artificial flavouring, and also a mix of both Natural and Artificial flavourings. The natural flavours found in E-Liquid contain absolutely no artificial ingredients, additives, colours, or sweeteners.

The flavours are extracted from their natural source using various methods to make a concentrate, and are then bottled and sold to E-Juice manufacturers or to consumers for DIY E-Juice making.

Artificial flavours are simply chemical mixtures that mimic a natural flavour. The Natural and Artificial Flavouring mixed concentrates are just that. A mix of Natural and Artificial flavour concentrates.

Remember, most of these flavourings have not been tested for inhalation and only for being ingested. We need more scientific evidence to support if this is safe.


Steeping is a process which allows the flavour particles to mix together with the PG/VG. This normally takes around 1 week however some liquids can develop more flavour after longer periods (i.e 1-2 weeks). All of our liquids come pre-steeped. During the steeping process we recommend keeping your e-liquid in a cool dark place and taking the time to give it a shake and open the lid every few days which will help speed up the steeping process.

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