What is E-Liquid?

E-liquid. E-juice. Joose. Vape sauce. We’ve heard them all.

Ever wonder what makes up that sweet nectar of the gods you suck down on a daily basis? Have you ever really tried to wrap your head around the beauty and simplicity that is your current bottle of E-Liquid? Why does it taste the way it does? How come this one performs differently than the other bottles you’ve purchased? Why does one juice chuck massive clouds while another will be felt in your throat a bit more? We are here to answer these questions and more!

The Basics

The liquid that you vape everyday is made up of four main ingredients. Vegetable Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Nicotine, Artificial and Natural flavorings. All of these ingredients are mixed in different ratios to produce the juice that you are using. Of course these ratios do have an effect on the juice. Below we will dive into how each individual product changes the juice you are vaping.

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable Glycerin, or VG, is one of the main base ingredients in E-liquid. It is thick by nature and used for vapor production and thicker clouds. A juice with a higher VG content will produce a more viscous and thick juice, suited well for rebuildable atomizers. They will also have a sweeter taste and a more mild throat hit. Juices high in VG are not recommended for tank use as the juice is usually so thick it will not properly wick in most tank systems.

Vegetable glycerin is not only used in e-juice manufacturing — chances are you are consuming this product more than you would think. It is used in a lot of foods in the form of preservatives or sweeteners. Vegetable Glycerin is a humectant, meaning it pulls moisture from the air, this makes VG incredible for the skincare industry. Check the label on some of your household moisturizers and there’s a good chance you will find Vegetable Glycerin listed in the ingredients.

Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol, or PG, is the second items making up the main base of e-juice. PG is a clear, colorless liquid that is quite a bit thinner than VG and produces almost no vapor. PG is used to increase the throat hit of juice and carry flavor. PG is used in a lot of common products, including coffee, ice cream, beer, and soda. PG makes up the base solution for a few different pharmaceutical products as well.

Have you ever had an experience where you find yourself very dehydrated after a long day of vaping? PG and VG are to blame here. They both pull the moisture from you and aid in dehydration. To offset this, just make sure you stay hydrated with enough water to counteract this effect.

Nicotine

Nicotine is a stimulant and a relaxant. It is processed in the body almost identically to caffeine. Contrary to popular belief it is non-carcinogenic. Nicotine is, however, toxic. Because of its toxicity nicotine and e-juice should be kept away from children and animals. If e-juice containing nicotine is consumed contact poison control immediately.

Based on the amount of nicotine in the juice the harshness of that particular juice will vary. A juice with 12mg nicotine will produce a stronger throat hit than the identical juice in 3mg. This is one of the reasons why most people starting to vape find themselves vaping a higher “nic” level juice to satiate their cravings. They also get the “throat hit”, that tingling feeling in the back of your throat that emulates the feel of a cigarette.

The nicotine strength reflected on a bottle stands for milligrams of nicotine per milliliter. As an example 3mg liquid will have three milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of juice.

Flavorings

EliquidphotoNatural and Artificial flavorings are used to produce the flavors that you have come to know and love. These flavorings are mixed in different ratios to produce juices that have a certain flavor profile. There are three main flavor distributors selling to the vape industry, Capellas, LorAnns, and The Flavor Apprentice. All of these flavoring are top-notch quality, having been used in the food industry for years. In the past 10 years, the flavorings have been adapted to the vape industry. The profound growth of vaping has caused flavor distributors to even make flavors specifically for use in e-cigarettes and vapes!

Behind the scenes, many steps are being taken to make the juices better for the consumer. Things like artificial coloring have been removed from most flavor concentrates, becoming a thing of the past. Diacetyl was used by some companies to produce a buttery flavor. Although considered safe for human consumption, diacetyl was found to cause harmful effecs when heated and inhaled, so it, too, has been mostly done away with. Factors like these show why it is important to always purchase your e-juice from a trusted and reputable manufacturer.

Quality

Now that we have broken down and gone into the four main ingredients in e-Liquid, lets talk about why some juices are esteemed as higher quality than others. There are a two main factors to look for.

  • The highest quality ingredients – 99.7% USP grade Vegetable Glycerin, 99.5% or greater USP grade Propylene Glycol. Flavorings purchased from reputable manufacturers that are taking necessary precautions and removing harmful chemicals. Nicotine that is harvested from organically growth tobacco with no contaminants (Nicotine can make or break a juice. Have you ever experienced juice with a salty or bitter aftertaste? Cheap nicotine is to blame here. If it is not processed and extracted correctly it will end up adding an odd flavor to the juice.)
  • A clean room manufacturing facility – The current gold standard lab for E-Liquid manufacturing is an ISO 8 clean room. Having a clean room and producing E-Liquid in a clean room ensures that the high quality ingredients remain high quality. No added particulates from the outside world ensures that the juice you are vaping is as pure as possible. This also ensures you get the most consistent e-juice with no major flavor or proportion fluctuations from batch to batch.
EpicJuiceLLC-Lab-610px
An ISO 8 lab used for E-Liquid production. Photo Credit: Epic Vape LLC

 

The high quality ingredients and the use of a proper lab all come together to make what we call premium juice. All of these items come at a cost and the price of premium juice reflects that. Anyone could make juice in their garage stored in old milk jugs. Premium e-Juice manufacturers invest in their facilities and source high-quality ingredients for your vaping safety and pleasure. As is often the case, you get what you pay for.

 

Finding the right juice

Fullline-EliquidWe are blessed in this industry to have more flavors of juices than we could ever try, but this blessing is also a curse. How do you find the right juice for you? It truly comes down to your own personal palate. Do you think fruits are for you? Or desserts? Maybe you’d be into drink flavors or want to reminisce about a cereal flavor you had as a kid. Figure out what you’re looking for, and what flavors will help you kick cigarettes. Once you’ve mapped out what you’re wanting to try find a quality vendor and begin trying liquids, or better yet stop into your local vape shop and sample some juices! It’s usually free and will help you save a good amount of money. By sampling juices you can weed out juices that sound amazing but let you down.This way you don’t have dozens of bottles of juice in a  E-Liquid graveyard that are barely touched. Whatever the case, keep on pressing on until you find that juice that makes your perfect all-day-vape.

 

The future of the juice industry

In the current vape market it seems like everyone and their mother has a juice company. Some made with highest of standards, others subpar. In the coming months we see a lot of these smaller companies, that don’t have true standards of quality, disappearing. Be it through the coming FDA regulations or that their juice is just not up to par and sales begin to reflect that. This is the byproduct of our industry, the products that are made with passion and a commitment to excellent will shine through. If you take a look at all of the major juice manufacturers they follow these guidelines to the “T”. Because above all, we have to make sure that you, the consumer, are as safe and happy as possible with your new favorite e-juice.


We hope you enjoyed a brief description of what makes e-Juice. Do you have any questions about Ballistic Vape juice? What’s your favorite thing about e-juice, and not-so-favorite? Leave your comments below!

10 Things Every Educated Vaper Should Know

Vaping has taken the world by storm and emerged as the healthier alternative to smoking. Tight knit communities have formed and an entire subculture sprang up for no other reason than to enjoy the vape experience. Many of us have been here during the formative years, so we’ve come to absorb vape knowledge along the way. Unfortunately, people new to the vape experience might not learn or understand some basic rules of vaping, and cause us all to look bad in the process. That’s why we put together this list of 10 things every vaper should know:

     1.  Don’t blow massive clouds in public.

This has been quite the topic of controversy lately, and for a simple reason, even though this is not smoke most people don’t want to be exposed to it. Only vapors want to sit in a room filled with vape. Vape politely, don’t vape where you can’t smoke, unless designated by the establishment. And surely don’t blow vape into other people’s faces.

 

  1. Build Safety

Generally speaking, the more “into” vaping one becomes the greater the desire for vapor production. This is usually done by running a lower resistance build, sometimes to the extent of pushing a battery far past its limits. Please don’t let your quest for clouds become the next news headline. We don’t need anymore horror stories surrounding vaping.

 

  1. Battery Safety

Now that you find yourself deeper into vaping its time to learn the true hard facts about batteries. When running a mechanical mod battery safety is huge. You need to know about your batteries, how to use them safely, and how to know when they are damaged and unusable. Spend some time learning about amp limits and ohms law, this will keep you vaping safe and vaping happy.

 

  1. Mod Upkeep

    Mod-Cleaning
    Raijin mod ready for a cleaning.

You have your first brand new mechanical mod, its so shiny it blinds you. Its so conductive, how did you ever vape without this device? But guess what? That shiny device is going to go through some wear and tear. You’re going to have to know how to keep that baby clean. Go out and buy a microfiber towel and some metal polish. Cleaning your mod, all of the components, once a week will keep your mod vaping like the day you first got it.

 

 

 

  1. Change your own cotton

Okay, you have a mechanical mod paired with a sweet rebuildable atomizer, and this is the best flavor you’ve ever experienced. If this atty was built recently it probably was wicked with cotton, and guess what, that cotton is going to wear out in a few days time. So what do you do? Learn how to change your own cotton. It will allow you to be a more self sufficient vapor, not having to go to the shop every few days just for a cotton change.

 

 

  1. PG/VG

What are PG and VG? Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin are the two main ingredients in e-liquid and they affect the way your vape performs. A liquid with a higher Propylene Glycol content will give you less vapor production, more flavor, and a thinner juice. E-liquid with a higher Vegetable Glycerin content will give you more vapor, a little loss in flavor, and a thicker juice. Both of these have their place. In a tank system you want to run something on the thinner side this way it wicks properly. In a dripper you can use a high VG liquid as you are saturating the wicks yourself.

 

  1. Mixing Juices

Imagine this scene. You walk into your local vape shop and request your favorite juice in your preferred nicotine level from the shop dude. You see a look of gloom and despair in the employees face, and you know what’s coming…they’re out of the juice you want. Nowadays everyone is looking for their favorite juice in 3mg and 6mg but shops can’t keep it on the shelves. Fear not, there is a simple solution to your problem — buy two bottles. Simple math is your friend here. If you’re looking for a flavor in 6mg and the shop only has 0mg and 12mg, just buy both and mix them equally to get a 6mg. By doubling the total volume of the liquid and not adding more nicotine you have successfully cut your juice down to a 6mg. You would think this is common sense but would be surprised how often people don’t realize it’s an option!

 

  1. Learn How to Build

You’ve moved up the ranks and got your perfect setup. You have a wonderful mod and some form of rebuildable atomizer. The only problem is you don’t know how to build. Let me guess? You don’t want to struggle with the fuss and the time invested in learning how to build those coils. It all seems so complicated and confusing. But with just a little time invested you can become an entirely self sufficient vapor. Here’s a great guide giving you all the necessary information to build any atomizer you’d like!

 

  1. Don’t Drip and Drive
Dont drip and drive
Don’t Do It! Photo from vapor-house.com

If you have been a part of the vape community for the last 6 months you’ve probably heard this term. You’re sitting there wondering, “man, why are so many people concerned with this?” I’ll tell you why, it’s incredibly dangerous. It’s like using a cell phone but instead of only having to use one hand, now both are utilized. What are you driving with? Your face? Vape safely, if need be buy a back up tank and take it with you for your drive. Your friends and family will thank you.

 

 

 

  1. Be an Example

You’ve got all of this knowledge, you are at the pinnacle of your vape career, don’t blow it. Guess who everyone is looking at now? The answer is you. How you vape, where you vape, and how safely you vape is all up to you. But remember, everyone is looking at you as an example. Vape safely and don’t cause issues. The future of our industry depends on it!

Take your newfound knowledge and show the world what experienced vapors can do! Be helpful and never put anyone down for not knowing as much as you. Educate others and help build this device that is revolutionizing the world! Just remember, the way you present vaping could change someones life, helping them to break an addiction they never thought they could over come! Happy vaping!

Is there anything we missed? Or anything you believe the educated vapor should now? Let us know in the comments below.

An Introduction to the World of Mods

Mods. You hear the word thrown around all the time among vapers. What are mods? How do they work? Why are there so many different types of them? And finally, how do I know which one is right for me?

We’ve all had these questions when starting out our vaping journeys — and luckily for you we’re here to provide the answers for beginners and experienced vapers alike.

A mod stands for a modified device, the term comes from the early days when vapers were modifying flashlights to get more power out of their devices. You’ll also hear the term PV which stands for personal vaporizer. When these devices are broken down, they are nothing more than a device that houses batteries and sends power to an atomizer.

There are many different styles of mods, but two main power delivery systems mechanical and regulated mods. 


What is a Mechanical Mod?

Mechanical mod KSS Kryptonite
A typical mechanical mod, the KSS by Kryptonite Tank

 

A mechanical mod is nothing more than a metal tube housing a battery, with two contacts and a button. When the button is pressed a circuit is completed and power is pushed to the atomizer. There are no circuit boards or wires complicating this device.

You simply push the button on the device, which creates contact with the negative terminal on your battery and heats the coils, ultimately vaporizing your favorite e-juice.

Mechanical mods can either be box mods or tube mods. Tube mods are more popular, like the KSS mod to the right. We’ll have a look at boxes down below.

 

 


 

What is a Regulated Mod?

Regulated mods are where things get a bit more interesting. These devices run on a chip system and contain internal circuitry designed to protect the user. They allow you to easily change the power output of your device and fully tailor the vape settings to your preference. For this reason, they tend to be a bit more user friendly.

 

Eleaf iStick with a range of starter tanks.
Eleaf iStick with a range of starter tanks. Photo credit: vapenw.com

 

The lower end devices are generally well priced and when paired with a proper tank, like the Aspire Nautilus, provide an extremely satisfying vape experience with minimal fuss. These devices have built in safety features like battery protection, standby modes, and power cutoff. That last one makes sure if the button is held for too long, the device will automatically shut off power to your atomizer, avoiding a fire in your pocket. Never a bad thing, right?

Some of the lower end regulated mods have a power output of about 20 watts, and from there you can work your way up to devices that are capable of 150 watt output and more.

 


 

Why a Mechanical Mod?

Why would you choose a mechanical Mod? What are the benefits of running a non-regulated device?

Mechanical mods are the PV (personal vaporizer) of choice for a lot of vapers out there. They’re usually designed with aesthetics in mind and often made from beautiful stainless steel, copper, or brass — ensuring a look for everyone. They’re also pretty darn sleek and feel substantial in your hands. They’re generally less bulky than their regulated counterparts meaning they’re more mobile as well.

The mechanical mod will pair well with cloud chasing. These devices have no regulation or protection built in, just the raw power of the battery directly fueling the atomizer. This means that someone could theoretically fire an atomizer with a lower ohm rating than what some of the lower end regulated devices will fire. This is where things get sketchy and potentially dangerous. We would not recommend a mechanical mod and a rebuildable atomizer to someone with no knowledge of ohms law and battery safety. If not treated carefully, a battery can be vented (when the battery ruptures and expels harmful battery acid) if pushed past its limits.

Here’s what that looks like:

That being said, if used properly a mechanical mod can produce an extremely satisfying vape when done responsibly! So be safe and read a guide like this before you start!

With a mechanical mod the user is much less likely to use a clearo style tank system and move directly into the rebuildable world. The main reason for this is that you can craft the way your vape is produced when rebuilding  and without the ability to adjust voltage —  this is the preferred method of vaping a mechanical mod.


 

Key Features of a Mechanical Mod

In the previous section it was mentioned that a mechanical mod is nothing more than a tube housing a battery, with two points of contact on that battery. When the contacts complete a circuit, power is drawn from the battery and sent to the atomizer of your choice. This all seems quite simple, doesn’t it? But there’s a little more that goes into it. A few key features in a good mechanical mod are

  1. Conductive metals  –  When purchasing a mechanical mod you are going to see three main choices of material: stainless steel, brass, and copper. Each of these metals have their pros and cons, but it usually comes down to an aesthetic choice. Which metal do you think looks best?
  2. Contacts  –  The contacts of the mod are going to be making direct contact with your battery. These will usually be made out a more conductive metal. The best options for contacts is going to be brass or copper. Both of these metals are extremely conductive and will help lower the voltage drop of the mod. Voltage drop occurs when a non conductive metal or dirt and grime build-up impedes voltage traveling from your battery to your atomizer. Not something you want, so go for the most conducive metal you can afford.
  3. Button style  –  On a mechanical mod there are a generally two types of buttons — locked or recessed. Some prefer a recessed button because they’re more simple and you don’t have to fiddle around with a lock ring or worry about it getting stuck. The drawback, of course, is there is no sure way to lock the mod, so it could potentially fire if not handled with care. A locked button gives you peace of mind in the realm of accidentally firing your mod, but every time you want a vape, you will be locking and unlocking the mod. If possible head to your local shop and ask to view a mod with each of these button styles.

 


 

Why a Regulated Mod?

Regulated mods have been exploding in popularity. Also known as APVs (or advanced personal vaporizers), there have been quite a few styles of devices to choose from. From a simple tube mods running 15 watts to box mods pushing 150 watts and more.

IPV V3
IPV V3 and Patriot rebuildable atomizer.

The reason these mods are gaining mass acceptance is clear. They’re packed full of safety features that give you the ability to tailor your vape experience to your liking. With devices like these, you can change how much power is running to your atomizer thanks to variable voltage/wattage settings.

They are interchangeable, too. Screw on a a simple starter tank one day, then throw on a rebuildable atomizer the next. Pretty cool.

 

The IPV V3 is a great example, one could run this as a starter setup and it would continue to hold its own all through your vaping endeavors for quite some time. These devices come with all the features mentioned above to keep your vaping safe and enjoyable.

 

 


 

Key Features of a Regulated Mod

By now, you should know that regulated mods have a bit more going on than your standard mechanical setup, as they have embedded chips and circuitry to keep you safe. Not all regulated mods are created equal, however.

On one end of the spectrum, we have lower end devices like the itaste MVP or the Eleaf iStick. These mods will come with built in batteries but still have most of the safety features listed below.

Littleman Mod
A high end regulated device, The littlemaN by Project Sub-Ohm

For the upper end of the range, you have higher wattage/voltage output regulated devices are mostly made by two main manufacturers of chips: Evolv and YiHi. The chips coming from Evolv are a bit more cutting edge and have a lot more safety features built in. The chips that YiHi are producing are more based around raw power and running the lowest resistance possible. Either way there are a few key features you should look for.

  1. Built in protection  –  With these devices you have a lot of wiring and you want to make sure you are not going to blow that wiring. Look for devices with built in short protection, reverse battery protection, and resistance cut off. All of these will keep you vaping safe.
  2. Removable batteries  –  With a regulated device you are going to find yourself charging the battery quite a bit, if the battery is built into the device, once it hits its number of recharge cycles the battery will be limping. We think it is best to find a device that allows you to remove and replace your battery.
  3. Locking Ability  –  On a regulated device you also want to look for a device that allows you to lock it. This is usually going to be a combination of button presses that locks and unlocks the mod, this is an important feature that is often over looked. With the ability to lock the device you have peace of mind carrying it in your pocket or putting it away for the evening. No burnt wicks here!

 


 

Making the Decision

Hopefully you now have a pretty solid introductory understanding into the world of mods. In the end, the choice of which type comes down to personal preference.

How do you want to vape? Do you want something to take with you and be mobile, or are you looking to blow big clouds in your living room?

What features are you looking for in a mod? Variable voltage is pretty handy, but then again there’s something beautifully simple about an effective rebuildable setup.

Does the process of rebuilding coils appeal to you? If you don’t have a little patience or a shop or friend nearby, then you might not want to go through the effort.

Ask yourself these questions and come up with solid answers. This will help narrow your search. If possible head to a local shop, and talk to one of the guys behind the counter. They would be more than happy to show you a few of each style device. If you go out into the market with no idea what you are looking for more times than not you will come up empty handed and stressed out. Finding the correct mod for you should be a fun and simple process.

No matter what device you’re vaping, congratulations on the switch and welcome to a healthier lifestyle! We hope this guide helps shed some light on the world of what us vapers call “mods”.

 

What questions did you have when first learning about mods?

Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for great new content, specials, and Ballistic Vape sneak peeks.