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 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.


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.


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.
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!