What Ingredients Characterize an eLiquid?
As a general rule eliquids contain four main ingredients, but as we delve deeper into this section, we will make sure to cover each variation:
Of course this is the active ingredient in our eliquid. Nicotine for eliquid is obtained from the distillation of scrap tobacco leaves and further purified by chromatography or further distillation toobtain the 99.9% pure 1.0g/mL nicotine base we use here at Nude Nicotine. Concentration of nicotine in solution is commonly denoted in two manners – mg/mL or by % (As a quick reference, 12mg/mL would be equivalent to 1.2%). Nicotine in its purest form is a colorless, pyridine-odored, non-viscous liquid. Concentrations of >100mg/mL must be dealt with using full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), adequate ventilation, in a biohazard-zoned facility with proper biohazard disposal. Concentrations of 50-100mg/mL should be handled using low-level PPE (long sleeves, gloves, safety eyewear) along with adequate ventilation. Common nicotine concentrations seen in finished eliquids are seen ranging from 2mg/mL – 36mg/mL. Nicotine imparts a throat hit to eliquids, and is characterized by many as a ‘peppery’ throat hit that lingers in the throat after vapor has been exhaled.
2. Propylene Glycol (PG):
Propylene glycol is one of the two common solvents that composes eliquid (along with VG). PG is a clear, odorless, fairly non-viscous liquid that is a very common solvent used in a range of medical aerosol devices, most commonly seen in albuterol inhalers. A common misconception with PG is Left in its purity. Many in the public sphere have seen electronic cigarette use as harmful as a result of this solvent, claiming the use of an antifreeze as an ingredient., While they are correct, PG in a very unpure nd unrefined grade, is used in antifreeze as a glycol to lower freezing boints and raise boiling points. However, in electronic cigarettes, the grade of PG used is much higher, free of the heavy metals and other unwanted contaminants present in low-grade PG. Food-grade or greater PG is used in eliquid.In comparison to VG, PG is very non-viscous, and solvates nicotine extremely well, able to be mixed by hand in short amounts of time. PG also posesses a lengthier expiration date – 2 years – when stored in a cool (<40C), dry place. Nicotine in PG-carrier solvent is also a much easier solution to aliquot with graduated measuring equipment (i.e. graduated cylinders, conicals, syringes, etc…) due to its low viscosity. We recommend using PG as a nicotine solvent whenever possible, due to its lengthier expiration date and low viscosity, lowever using VG-solvated nicotine base may be necessary for some higher nicotine solutions or 100% VG eliquids. PG imparts a dessicating throat hit to eliquids, as well as providing very high flavor solubility due to its low viscosity and lower molecular weight.
3. Vegetable Glycerin (VG):
VG is a colorless (or VERY light tan-opaque), odorless, very viscous liquid, the other common solvent used in eliquid (along with PG). When stored properly, in a cool (<40C), dry environment, VG will remain free from oxidation or degredation for one year. Most highly regard VG for its smoothness and large vapor production, and it is excellent in these two areas. However, VG lacks the robust flavor solubility that PG posesses, and has a quicker expiration date. In addition, with liquids containing VG, the vaper must be conscious to vape within range of VG’s flash point (176C). Vaporizing eliquid is a function of atomizing eliquid at the flash point, and our goal is to hover around this temperature as the flash point of VG is the higher than both PG and nicotine. However, with VG, at the boiling point(290C), carcinogenic acrolein is produced. This fact should be considered with vapers using rebuildable atomizers reaching high temperatures vaporizing high-VG eliquids. Please be wary of your operating temperatures
Flavorings vary widely between eliquids, but are commonly extracted from natural sources by distillation, or synthetically prepared in the laboratory mimicing naturally-occuring substances. Carrier solvents commonly include PG, VG, water, and ethyl alcohol. Many flavorings are extracted under differing distillation processes, resulting in a wide concentration of end-products. While our flavorings produced here at Nude Nicotine are recommended for use at between 0.5% – 7.5%, many other products are intended for use at between 10%-25%. This usually defines the difference between a concentrated, and non-concentrated flavoring extract. While there are a wide range of food-based flavorings that would be seemingly appropriate for use in eliquids, the DIY vaper must be conscious of the hydrophobicity of the flavoring in question for health reasons. Water-soluble flavorings carried in PG, VG, ethanol or water are most commonly appropriate for eliquid use, due to their hydrophilicity. However, oil-based flavorings of a lipid source can lead to a condition deemed ‘lipid pneumonia,’ a result of continued buildup of lipids effectively suffocating the alveoli of the lungs. We at Nude Nicotine encourage everyone to explore the world of vape-safe flavorings on the market! And we know it can be a daunting task As always, you can turn to our concentrated flavorings for a guaranteed-safe and delicious solution, however if you are concerned about another vendor’s flavor you would like to use in your DIY recepie, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to impart some advice wherever we can.
And here are a few additional ingredients that are common to many eliquids, but are not part of the main ingredients list:
Here at Nude Nicotine we do not utilize water in our eliquids, however, many use them to assist in the lowering of viscosity in high-VG eliquids. When a smooth vapor is desired, free of PG, water would be the additive of choice (rather than PG) to lower the viscosity of the solution. Distilled water must be used, as to avoid hard mineral deposits on atomizer coils and wicks.
And the recipes can be made much more complex with additional sweeteners, sours, salts, and much more. While quality chemistry in an eliquid an never be feigned, a well-trained culinary figure always makes a solid addition to your DIY team!