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Beginner's Guide To E-Liquid

Welcome to our beginner's guide to e-liquid. In this guide, you will find answers to common questions about e-liquid as well as expert insight from the team here at Vaper Empire.

What is E-Liquid?

It goes by many names: e-juice, e-liquid, vape juice, etc. It all means the same thing. E-liquid is usually a combination of vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, flavouring, and nicotine. Not all of these ingredients are present in every bottle of e-liquid, but e-liquid is almost always a combination of two or more of these ingredients.

Vegetable Glycerin vs Propylene Glycol

The base for every e-liquid is either vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, or a combination of the two. They make up the majority of the e-liquid and determine its consistency, while nicotine and flavouring are added to give the e-liquid its other properties.

Vegetable Glycerin is thicker, sweeter, and smoother than propylene glycol. Cloud-chasers often prefer MAX VG e-liquids (e-liquids with little to no propylene glycol) due to the fact that it produces thicker clouds that are easier on the lungs.

However, vegetable glycerin’s naturally sweet flavour can sometimes interfere with an e-liquid’s intended flavour. Not every flavour is supposed to be that sweet. E-liquid mixers will often use the flavourless propylene glycol to dial that sweetness back in order to get a more accurately-flavoured e-liquid.

Propylene Glycol is a better agent for flavour due to the fact that it has no flavour of its own. You can add any flavour to it, and that flavour will come through uninhibited. It isn’t as smooth as vegetable glycerin. While VG is ideal for vapers that pull large clouds directly into their lungs, PG provides thinner vapour with a strong throat hit. This makes it ideal for cig-a-like products that aim to provide a cigarette-like throat hit.

Now that we understand PG and VG, let’s talk about the remaining ingredients. flavouring is a given, but the remaining ingredient that requires an explanation is nicotine.

Freebase Nicotine and Nicotine Salt

Nicotine, while not present in all e-liquids, is a main ingredient in most of them. Vaper Empire's e-liquids are available in both nicotine-free and nicotine-infused variants.

Nicotine is the main psychoactive ingredient in cigarettes, and the nicotine used in e-liquid gives vapers a similar sensation. Most e-liquids utilize freebase nicotine: nicotine in its purest, most isolated form.

However, a newly popularized form of nicotine called “nicotine salt” or “nic salt” is quickly becoming a new favourite for many vapers.

So why is nicotine salt becoming so popular?

Without being overly-complicated, nicotine salt is a version of nicotine with a molecular structure closer to that of the nicotine found in tobacco leaves. Its main advantage is its smoothness. You can pack a lot more nicotine salt into an e-liquid before it becomes too harsh to handle.

For instance, e-liquids with 50mg of nicotine salt are common, but an e-liquid with 50mg of freebase nicotine is unheard of as many would find it difficult to handle vapour that harsh.

This is subjective, but many vapers have claimed that the effects from nicotine salt more closely resemble those of a cigarette when compared to freebase nicotine.

Under certain circumstances, you’ll need different vaporizers for freebase and nic salt e-liquids. This has more to do with the strength of your e-liquid than the kind of nicotine being used, but nic salt is commonly associated with high nicotine strengths.

For example, 12mg e-liquid, whether it uses nic salt or freebase nicotine, will be fine to use with high-wattage vaporizers. However, 50mg e-liquid (a nicotine strength found exclusively in nic salt e-liquids) would potentially be dangerous to use in a high-wattage vaporizer. For something that strong, you’ll want to use a low-wattage device.

The Best Nicotine Strength

The best nicotine strength will obviously vary from person to person. We’ll jump into the different strengths and who they’re for, but first, we should establish that one milligram of nicotine salt is equal to one milligram of freebase nicotine in terms of effects. E-liquids with higher nicotine content are simply more likely to use nicotine salt because it’s smoother than freebase.

  • 50mg - E-liquids with 50 milligrams of nicotine or more will use nicotine salt exclusively. E-liquid with that amount of freebase nicotine would be extremely difficult if not nearly impossible to vape. This is a very high nicotine concentration and it’s only suitable for those that are used to heavy nicotine consumption.
  • 35mg - This is another nicotine strength that you’re unlikely to see outside of nicotine salt e-liquids. It’s a high dose of nicotine, but for nicotine salt, it’s the middle of the road.
  • 24mg - Now we’re finally in freebase nicotine territory. Keep in mind that e-liquids with 24mg of nicotine or lower can use either nicotine salt or freebase nicotine with good results. You’ll find 24mg e-liquids in the freebase nicotine and nicotine salt categories. Just remember, the nicotine salt e-liquid will be a lot smoother. However, with a nicotine concentration that high, this isn’t always a good thing. Pace yourself when using high levels of nicotine salt to avoid nicotine poisoning.
  • 12mg - This is a common nicotine strength for vapers. This amount of freebase nicotine will still have a very noticeable impact on flavour, but with nicotine salt, the impact is quite subtle.
  • 3mg to 6mg - This is the ideal nicotine strength for sub-ohm vaporizers. It’ll provide the user with noticeable effects without noticeably compromising the flavour. Even with freebase nicotine, these nicotine levels won’t be too harsh for most.
  • 0mg - Not all e-liquid contains nicotine. If vaping appeals to you, but nicotine isn’t your thing, 0mg (also known as "0 nic") is the only way to go. A lot of vapers will start at a higher nicotine strength and work their way down to wean themselves off of nicotine completely. In this case, 0mg e-liquid is an end-goal.

How Long Will a Bottle of E-liquid Last?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the size of your bottle and how much you vape. To simplify things for the sake of explanation, let’s use a 60ml bottle of e-liquid as an example. A very heavy vaper might go through that in one to two weeks, while a light vaper could make it last well over a month. It varies so much from person to person that there’s only one way to know for sure. You just have to buy a bottle and keep track of the time.

Once you’ve gotten accustomed to vaping, you’ll know how much e-liquid you need and how long it’ll last. If you’re new to vaping, 30ml is a good place to start. They’re small, inexpensive bottles of e-liquid that should last at least a few days for new vapers.

Can You Buy E-liquid in Australia?

Adults of legal vaping age in Australian territories that don't prohibit the possession of e-liquid can buy e-liquid directly from Vaper Empire's online e-liquid shop. There you will find a wide selection of Vaper Empire e-juice flavours to choose from, all of which are available with or without nicotine.

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