However, you may be interested in making your own vape juice, and you may want to know how to make vape juice without PG or VG as ingredients. Let's look at how it's done.
The Role of Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin in Vape Juice
In most vape juice, propylene glycol is used to absorb and carry the flavoring agents as well as being a thinning agent, and vegetable glycerin is used to create the vapor. These ingredients have been widely considered to be safe and effective at creating a satisfying vapor and flavor experiencing in an e-cigarette, but recent studies are starting to cause doubt about these additives having a neutral impact on user health when these additives are heated and vaporized rather than swallowed. This is driving development of healthier alternatives for CBD vape juice such as CBD distillate.
Why Avoid PG or VG in Vape Juice?
There are a number of reasons why people may want to avoid these ingredients in their vape juice:
They find them too sweet
They find them too drying
Propylene glycol is a hygroscopic chemical, that naturally absorbs water. When a person vapes too much and inhales too much propylene glycol, the vapor may dehydrate their eyes, nose, and mouth. Dehydration may also cause “vaper's tongue,” in which the mouth and tongue get dry and they experience a reduced ability to taste flavors.
Heating PG and PEG causes chemical changes in these additives that are risky to health
A study carried out on what the effect of high temperatures are on PG and PEG food that PG and PEG 400 produced high levels of acetaldehyde and formaldehyde when heated to 230°C, and prolonged exposure with heavy use would definitely not be healthy for you, reducing the health advantages of vaping CBD.
Allergies and sensitivities
Some people may be allergic, or at least sensitive, to the VG and PG in vape juice, and would like an alternative. Symptoms of allergy to propylene glycol can include a mild tingling in the mouth or throat, to inflammation and irritation in the respiratory system. Most reactions are to propylene glycol, and are the same effects as dehydration. Some experience greater phlegm or coating in their throat after heavy vaping with vegetable glycerin.
DIY Vape Juice With No PG or VG
You can make a DIY vape juice with no propylene glycol, only vegetable glycerin. This may be too sweet for your preference, and the mixture may be too thick, and may need to be thinned with distilled water. It will have less flavor, and less “throat hit” than vape juices with PG.
You could also make a DIY vape juice with no vegetable glycerin, and only propylene glycol, although this is less common. It will have more flavor and less sweetness, and potentially be more dehydrating, but will have much less vapor. Some people prefer less vapor, so that their vaping is more discrete.
Some vapers have experimented with polyethelene glycol. Polyethelene glycol is considered a non-toxic polyether compound, but studies show that vaporizing this compound means it is not no longer non-toxic. It's use in vaping is very limited, and it may have the same effects as PG for those who are sensitive to it. Some feel that PEG 400 is smoother than PG, although others disagree. PEG also carries health issue risk when heated, same as PG.
Triacetin is a triglyceride compound that is colorless and odorless, and non-toxic when eaten or inhaled. It is increasingly common as a flavor enhancer in vape juice, but it also has a detrimental effect on polycarbonate tanks.
Because of their flavor-carrying and vaporizing effects, almost no vapers make a vape juice with no VG or PG, and vegetable glycerin is generally regarded as being essential to making an effective juice for vaping.
As studies begin to clarify the picture about the potential health risks of heating and vaporizing VG, PG and PEG in a vaporizer, consumers and manufacturers are starting look for alternatives to avoid the hazardous byproducts of heating these agents. One alternative is to use natural terpenes as a thinning agent.
These oils are used in aroma therapy and you may consider experimenting with a terpene oil that appeals to you as a thinning agent. You can buy pure oils at health food shops and most good aroma-therapy shops.
Natural terpenes in cannabis produce flavor variations and can have positive effects on the user, depending on the terpene.
A leafly.com article on terpenes gives some ideas on this topic and has a neat guide on different terpenes you may like to consider.
High VG Vape Juice
There are some vape juices on the market now that are high VG or only VG, with no PG at all, but VG is probably still harmful when heated, but less so than PG and PEG. High VG vape juices have a minimal amount of PG, just to carry the flavor. Some of these vape juices may use PEG 400, instead of PG.
Many VG only vape juices have the benefit of potentially being organic and natural, depending on the flavoring ingredients and compounds, however VG is not completely harmless as an additive when heated, but less harmful than PEG.
If you are sensitive to propylene glycol, remember that it is not essential in your vape juice. You can use PEG 400 to carry more flavor, or simply thin the juice with a little distilled water and have a reduced flavor experience, or you may consider a terpene. There are many high VG or all VG DIY vape juice recipes available, and it's easy to experiment, bearing in mind the health warning.
If you want to avoid the thick vapor and sweetness of vegetable glycerin, you could try to make an all PG vape juice, and some people have done so. However, these aren't generally regarded as satisfying vape juices and the health angle is now considered a problem.
We personally prefer CBD vape juice that is free of flavoring additives, either pure vaporizing form or with VG. CBD oil vape juices offer health advantages and are a healthier option all round. You can make your own CBD vape juice using a quality CBD oil, or save yourself the trouble and get one of the many CBD vaping products that are now easily available.
Given time and development, additive-free CBD Distillate cartridges will be available on the market being pure CBD that needs no thinning for a vape.