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What is Vape Juice Made of?

February 21, 2024

E-liquid, or vape juice as it's commonly known, is the main ingredient of the entire vaping experience. Without it, you'd just have a small contraption in your hand with no vapour coming out of it. The vape juice is what provides the act of vaping, delivering a satisfying flavour, along with the kind of throat hit that has long mimicked traditional smoking - only healthier. Let's explore it a bit more below.

What Is Vape Juice?

While conventional cigarettes burn tobacco for their flavour and nicotine absorption, e-cigarettes use vape juice. This juice is heated and quickly transformed into the vapour you inhale. It's a simple yet immensely satisfying system. 

Vaping is substantially healthier than traditional smoking - 95% healthier according to the UK government - and its popularity has boomed over the last 20 years. The rising popularity has led to unparalleled choice for vape juice, with flavours as far-reaching as crab legs and tuna - if you really want to be experimental.

However, finding the perfect vape juice often isn't easy. Even finding a great flavour isn't necessarily the end of the road. There are several other factors and ratios that can affect the vaping experience that you need to be aware of.

What is Vape Juice Made of?

While different flavours will obviously incorporate different ingredients, most vape juices share the same primary components. These are often tinkered with here and there to affect vapour production, throat hit strength, and longevity. 

Propylene Glycol (PG)

Many vape juices use Propylene Glycol (PG) as their base ingredient. This base is both colourless and odourless but tends to deliver flavour better than Vegetable Glycerin (VG) - which we're just coming to. It also provides a stronger throat hit that makes it a popular choice for those transitioning from smoking to vaping. Juices with a higher ratio of PG typically give a more intense experience.

One common misconception about PG is its links with antifreeze. While antifreeze does indeed include PG, it is only one of numerous other ingredients, and it has been deemed safe to use by countless health and safety standards.

Vegetable Glycerin (VG)

Vegetable Glycerin is the other major player in the vape juice market. It's sweeter and a little thicker than PG but provides a denser vapour, a factor popular for many. Overall, VG has a smoother taste and is easier on the throat, but this equates to a reduction in throat hit sensation - unpopular for some. Juices with a higher ratio of VG, compared to PG, usually deliver a more mellow experience.

Both PG and VG have been approved for widespread use. Still, it's important to point out that a tiny number of people have a natural allergy to one or the other - or perhaps both in a really unlucky situation. If you find you have some reaction after using vape juice, see your doctor immediately and explain what you have been vaping with.


Not all vape juice contains nicotine, but for those that do, it often comes in varying strength and quantity. The Canadian government's current regulations state that vape juice cannot contain more than 20mg/ml of nicotine, and the maximum amount purchasable in a single refill container is 10ml. 

Nicotine is, of course, addictive, but for those looking to wean themselves from the nicotine dependency of traditional cigarettes, vaping is often a great way to do it. A lot has been said and written about vaping recently, but it's clear that nicotine vaping is not more addictive than cigarette nicotine. It also doesn't put all the harmful substances present in cigarettes, such as lead, arsenic, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide, into our bodies.


If the three ingredients mentioned provide the vape juice's core, the flavouring makes each one unique. There are thousands of available flavours out there - some more appealing than others; garlic, anyone? While exact measurements aren't typically given out, most vape juices created use food-grade flavouring in tiny quantities.

PG/VG Ratios in Vape Juice

While many vapers are drawn to a particular vape juice because of its flavour, it's the ratio of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin that provides the unique vaping experience. Higher levels of PG tend to give a more intense experience with a more robust flavour, but the downside is you reduce the throat hit sensation. On the other hand, higher levels of VG provide a smoother experience with more vapour - but with less of a throat hit. 

Getting the right balance can take time and often depends on where you are in your vaping journey. If you've just come off traditional cigarettes, a juice with a higher ratio of VG might not give you what you're looking for. Those new to vaping who don't want to put too much strain on their throat and lungs might find a higher PG juice far too much. 

The 70/30 ratio is a common one, going both ways. 70% PG and 30% VG is popular for new vapers who want a sufficient throat hit while retaining plenty of vapour. Conversely, 70% VG and 30% PG is ideal if you want to ease into things with a more chilled experience.

A 50/50 blend of PG and VG is often used for higher-performance vapes with a high atomizer level, giving you plenty of clouds and an intense flavour hit.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do They Use to Flavour Vape Juice?

Flavourings found in vape juice are usually quite similar to what you would find in food. They typically include small amounts of food-grade extracts that mimic a wide variety of flavours without needing to add the exact ingredient.

Final Thoughts

Getting the right vape juice is vital. It's not just about finding that delicious flavour you can't get enough of, but also the right balance of ingredients to give you the exact experience you're looking for. One of the biggest turn-offs for first-time vapers is that they didn't find the right blend. Either the throat hit was too intense or not intense enough. This often requires experimenting and patience before you find the right ratio.

Whether you're a big throat hit fan, a massive cloud aficionado, or a connoisseur of delicate flavours, you'll find everything you're looking for at RELX. We provide a wide range of delicious, carefully crafted vape juices and high-quality vaping products, including pods, disposables, and accessories. Let's get that vaping experience just right!

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