The Ultimate Guide to the Best E Juice, E Liquid and Vape Juice – Flavors, Ingredients, Safety, THC, Pricing, Cleaning & More.
Are you looking for a whole new way to enjoy your marijuana but without any of the smell? Then you need a vape pen which runs on e-Juice.
Do you crave more flavor from your vape session? Well, you’ll get what you desire from e-Juice.
Are you on a quest to experience high amounts of THC? Get your hands on a vape pen that runs on e-Juice.
Do you require a strong and fast-acting way to medicate with CBD? That’s right, you need to invest in a vape pen that runs on e-Juice.
To help you navigate the bright, colorful and flavorful world of e-Juice (the liquid you can use in most portable marijuana vaporizers), the team at Vape.net have created an in-depth guide which covers absolutely everything you’ll ever need to know about this tasty topic.
Interesting Side Note: The “e” at the beginning of e-Juice stands for electronic. The liquid content is used in conjunction with an appropriate electronic vaporizer. E-Liquids are also known as tinctures. They combine the flavor and convenience of e-liquids with the potency and portability of cannabis concentrates.
Chapter One – What are the ingredients of e-Juice?
So you gathered from the appropriate name that e-Juice is a liquid. It’s a soluble bunch of ingredients that you heat inside your vape pen to release the wonderful vapors. Cannabis e-Juice is notoriously hard to make. They used to be made up of five ingredients, but marijuana dispensaries who did a lot of research and testing found that the main base ingredients (vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol) aren’t actually that great as carriers. That’s because the chemical compounds become saturated, and most of the cannabidiols stick to the bottle or chamber walls. VG only holds 33 percent of cannabis oil as the same volume of ethyl alcohol, so to solve the problem, many contemporary e-Juice makes add pure alcohol to the mix.
- Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and/or Propylene Glycol (PG) – These ingredients make up “The Base” of any high-quality e-Juice. This part roughly equates to about 85 percent of what makes up the liquid. E-Juice makers can use one or both of these liquids in their products. The flavorings and cannabidiols are suspended in PG. The common ratios that make up the base are: 100 percent VG, 50/50 VG / PG or 80/20 PG / VG
- Flavor – You can find almost any kind of flavor e-Juice, you can even make your own. Many companies class themselves as “mixers”, likening the cornucopia of e-Juice possibilities to mixing cocktails. You can even buy e-Juice liquids that taste like the cannabis plant itself.
- Marijuana and/or Nicotine – The marijuana that comes in e-Juice is made from cannabis concentrates, in particular, the natural oils. Nicotine can be added to any e-Juice if you wish.
- Distilled Water – To dilute the solution if necessary.
- Pure Alcohol – To make the base a better carrier for flavors and cannabidiols.
This is a naturally clear and odorless liquid chemical derived from plant oils, in particular, the oils from the coconut and soy plant. It is one of the most innocuous organic liquids known to man, it’s hypo-allergenic, non-carcinogenic, and non-mutagenic. When it comes to vaping, a lot of ‘non-somethings’ are always a very good thing, only the THC and CBD should be the compounds getting into your lungs! A 2008 study of the toxicity of inhaling aerosolized glycerol found minimal risks, so even if you accidentally ingested VG, it’s not going to cause you any harm.
In everyday life, VG is sometimes used as a food additive, and can also be found in dental hygiene and beauty products. It’s also commonly used as a substitute for alcohol when making botanical extracts. The liquid is sweet and syrupy and produces a lot of vapor when heated. Because of its consistency, many users who have vaped an e-Juice made wholly from, or primarily of VG, have suggested that the vapor tastes slightly sweet. The vape you get is also thick and heavy, but incredibly smooth.
Because of its viscosity, VG-based e-Juices can reduce the life of many an atomizer because the thick, gloopy liquid can clog vape pen coils. High VG e-Juices don’t really work well in clearomizers, and they certainly won’t work in older devices such as the Aspire Nautilus vaporizers, Innokin iClears, and eGo tanks. VG e-Juices also have a much shorter shelf life than products whose bases are made entirely from, or mostly of PG. Around 20 percent of all e-liquids on the market today are VG-based.
PG, when it comes to being used in such low levels in e-Juice, is a non-toxic, synthetic chemical compound which, like VG, absorbs water. PG has the ability to replicate the sensations you normally get in your throat from smoking a spliff, so an e-Juice high in PG offers that reassuring feeling of knowing that you’ve actually inhaled something, rather than wondering, “Did I actually take a hit”? Because of this property, PG can make your mouth get quite dry, almost like cotton mouth from a bong.
Interesting Side Note: VG and PG are what’s known as hygroscopic ingredients, they absorb water molecules from the air. When you heat your vape pen, the vapor that is produced actually comes from the water in the chamber. Therefore, the more water soluble a base ingredient, the more vapor it will produce. That’s why an e-Juice with a VG base will produce heaps of vape.
Because PG comes in several ‘grades’, in everyday life it can be used for a whole variety of different reasons. Industrial grade PG products are found in solvents like paints and varnishes, and it’s often used, in high quantities in antifreeze and engine coolants. On the opposite end of the scale, PG is also used in the pharmaceutical company, the most common devices it can be found in are asthma inhalers and nebulizers.
“Do not be alarmed by the term antifreeze or by the chemical propylene glycol. It is safe at the low concentrations.” – Tonya McKay Becker, polymer scientist.
PG has a bit of an image crisis thanks to information like this, but it’s important to remember that e-Juice contains pharmaceutical grade levels of PG, levels which are much less concentrated, and therefore, less problematic.
Pro-tip: This being said, PG has been known to cause allergic reactions in some users, and on a rare occasion, those who suffer from diabetes have reported an e-Juice made from PG can affect their blood sugar levels. If you find these to be true to you, don’t worry, you can still vape, you’ve just got to use a 100 percent VG based e-Juice.
The reason why propylene glycol is used as the main ingredient in most e-Juices is because it lowers the temperature necessary to vaporize water, and it’s good for carrying flavors. Because of this PG is often used in foods, therefore, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes PG on its list of substances Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), and it meets the requirements of acceptable compounds within Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
Pro-Tip: There is no such thing as “premium” PG or “premium” VG; it’s all one and the same. If any brand mentions premium, it’s likely they’re talking about the way they flavor their e-Juices. To be considered premium, the flavors should be natural from locally sourced products and extracted organically.
What PG/VG ratio should I use?
Everyone is different, and it depends on what kind of vaping experience you’d like. It’s a matter of experimentation, much like you’d have to do to get the most out of a bong for the first time. Here’s a mini guide on what various levels of PG and VG can be used to achieve different vaping experiences:
High PG (i.e. an e-Juice with a ratio of 80/20 PG/VG)
- If you enjoy the ‘kick’ which you sometimes get at the back of your throat from smoking
- If you want to vape in public – less PG means less vapor, so you can always keep your vaping low-key outdoors.
- An incredibly smooth hit
- If you really want to feel the vapors in your mouth
- If you want to feel like a dragon and become a cloud chaser (there are several competitions to see who can produce the biggest vape clouds)!
Not so great:
- Be careful to stay within the voltage/wattage limits of your atomizer or you risk dry hits and damaging your equipment.
Chapter Two – e-Juice flavors and cannabidiols
Flavorings and cannabidiols account for the remaining 15 percent of what makes up e-Juice. They’re typically made from organic, natural ingredients, or are manufactured oils which work in the same was as Vanilla Essence does in a sponge cake. Flavorings don’t have to be added to e-Juice for it to work, but the novelty of being able to taste such strong, delectable flavors which mirror the terpenes (aromatic molecules) of the marijuana plant, really does turn a good vaping session, into a great one.
Most e-Juices which are high in CBD don’t come with added or synthetic flavorings. If there is any flavor at all, it comes from the cannabis plant’s own terpenes and flavonoids. Companies like Dank Tank and CW Botanical prefer to let their customers taste the plant, whereas other companies, such as Cloud 9 Hemp and Delta Liquids, add flavorings to their CBD e-Juices to spice things up a bit.
Pro Tip: Many users find that fruity flavors work best with PG e-Juice as the sharpness of the PG combines favorably with the tartness/tanginess of the flavoring. Similarly, flavors that are based on something creamy tend to work well with e-Juices high in VG. The “thick” mouth sensations of the vape, combined with the velvety flavors, make you feel like you’re eating a dessert.
Interesting side note: Flavors and cannabidiols become suspended in propylene glycol, which is why PG is the most common base ingredient of e-Juice, but it’s good to know that if you’re allergic to PG or don’t like the experience, there is an alternative. Companies like Canavape and Quintessential who create and sell 100 percent, or very high VG e-Juices, use an alternative compound to keep their flavors locked in.
Chapter Three – How to tell if an e-Juice which has genuinely high levels of CBD or THC in it.
There are two ways in which you can do this. Firstly, check to see whether the e-Juice has been made from hemp, rather than cannabis. In 2014, the research firm, Project CBD, set out to investigate complaints against fly by night companies who were selling a variety of knockoff CBD treatments under the guise that they were just as effective as the genuine articles, like the Charlotte’s Web products made by CW Botanicals. The Project CBD report revealed that whilst CBD products made from hemp can be technically similar, they do not provide the same health benefits as high-CBD cannabis strains.
“We believe that industrial hemp is not an optimal source of CBD, but it can be a viable source of CBD if certain hemp cultivators are grown organically in good soil and safe extraction and refinement methods are employed.” – authors of the Project CBD report.
Therefore, if you can get your hands on some e-Juice made from cannabis flowers rather than hemp, then your vape is going to be stronger and more effective. Many dispensaries provide their customers with e-Juices and tinctures in this way, but they can be very hard to find in online stores. However, this could just come down to marketing. Advertising in the cannabis industry, as you’re probably aware, is strictly governed and limited by language, a company can’t plainly advertise what they’re selling. After all, hemp doesn’t have the negative connotations as ganja, or marijuana do.
Pro Tip: It’s very important to research the company you’re planning to buy from and to also look into the way their e-Juices are made. Some sites are better than others at displaying this type of information, but if you’re in doubt, read through previous customer reviews to find out whether anyone else thinks the company’s products are worth investing in, or get in touch with the store directly and ask them for clarification. Ask the advisor which type of hemp they use i.e. if it’s industrial hemp with less than 0.3 percent THC in the cannabis plant, or if it’s made from the buds. Quiz them on their vaping knowledge to see if they really know their stuff, and you even ask them if they have certifications to prove where the ingredients were grown and what the actual analysis of the e-Juice makeup is, so you find out whether the levels of cannabidiols advertised are really in the tinctures.
Interesting Side Note: In 2014, the Federal Government introduced the Farm Bill. This new bill defined high CBD-cannabis strains with less than 0.3percent THC in their flowering tops as being “hemp”. So now, “industrial hemp” is grown for the purpose of producing and selling CBD extracts. Remember, general hemp is not suitable for producing CBD, it should come from cannabis buds and not from any other plant material.
Secondly, check the packaging or the information on the website thoroughly. See what ingredients they list, if any, and how much CBD/THC is in the product. Have a scan to see how open they are about their growing/preparation methods, or whether they’re all a bit vague. Here’s an example of a good online e-Juice store (in the terms that we trust them and other people’s reviews), and a suspect store (even though product reviews have been positive).
Good Store – Quintessential
The store’s product pages are jam packed with information that’s clear to read and easy to understand. You are told how much THC/CBD is in each e-Juice, you’re told how the ingredients were grown, why they’re safe, how to use them, and you can even ask to see a certificate of authentication. Customer reviews were all high, and the staff were described as being incredibly friendly, helpful and sincerely genuine, an absolute pleasure to deal with.
Bad Store – Hemp Pure Vape
The store’s product pages have no information (you can glean a tiny bit if you squint at the e-Juice labels) and they don’t show any customer reviews either. Their About page explains how their business was started, but they don’t share how or where the ingredients they use are grown, or how they guarantee their products have in them what they say they do. Yes, they say their products are tested for things like toxins, molds, heavy metals, and that they have in place a strict framework for quality assurance, but they don’t give any details. This site doesn’t fill us with confidence.
Chapter Four – Why are most CBD/THC e-Juices so expensive?
Well, you get what you pay for.
The price reflects the hard work, expertise and expensive of running state of the art equipment and technologies used to really get the most CBD/THC content from a cannabis extract.
Cheap e-Juices are cheap for a reason, they’re lacking in something, usually the potency they claim to have. Most people associate cheap products with coming from China, where output and sales are considered a higher priority than quality, however, there’s also a danger closer to home too. Some Western-made products which are often manufactured in small home laboratories, people making tinctures themselves, and fly by night companies can’t guarantee that their products have the levels of cannabidiols that they say they have in them. Small labs or amateur e-Juice makes have much more room for human error than in fully equipped, certified factories.
Pro Tip: Never purchase e-Juice that has a handwritten label, or worse, has no label at all.
Chapter Five – How long is the shelf life of e-Juice?
If you store your e-Juice in a cool, dark, dry place, it can last for a long time, over two years in fact. If you keep it in the freezer, you can preserve the e-Juice for even longer. However, we suggest you use your e-Juice as soon as possible because over time (about 15 months) the potency of the cannabidiols and flavors diminishes. It won’t go bad, but it won’t taste brilliant, and the liquid will get thicker and darker, so it doesn’t look very appealing either.
Chapter Six – How come my e-Juice has lost its flavor?
You’re experiencing something called Olfactory Habituation and Olfactory Adaptation. It’s commonly referred to, incorrectly, by fellow Ents as “Vaper’s Tongue”. It’s perfectly natural and it happens to us all throughout our vaping life. It won’t last long, and there are ways to reduce the time it takes to get the taste back. We’ve written a really handy blog post on the subject here.
Chapter Seven – How potent is e-Juice compared to actual weed or cannabis concentrates?
It’s quite hard to find a consistent answer to this question, as testing methods within the cannabis industry are still in its infancy. With so many variables, it’s quite often the case that you can get different results from the same plant. As Dr. Dale Gieringer and Dr. Arno Hazekamp revealed in a report back in 2011:
The cannabis testing industry is still in its infancy… Labs are aware of the current lack of industry standards and are actively seeking to improve their procedures.
We’re hoping that time has improved technologies and standards, however, weed typically contains about 15 percent THC, but, if you concentrate the marijuana buds and turn them into BHO, for example, you’re realistically looking at amplifying the cannabidiol potency of your green up to 75 percent. Luckily, cannabis oils/extracts are added to e-Juice, so your high is going to be stronger than a spliff, for sure. The same thing can be said for CBD.
Interesting Side Note: If a cannabis plant has CBD levels of four percent or more, that’s considered to be quite high!
Chapter Eight – How often can I vape e-Juice?
You can vape as often or as much as you need, or as often as your wallet dictates that you can afford to buy replacement e-Juices! Remember, you cannot overdose from THC or CBD. On average, you can get around 240 puffs from a 2ml e-Juice chamber before having to refill, however, it really comes down to your own personal vaping preferences and lung capacity, etc. Some hardcore users only get about 30 puffs from a vape pen before needing to refill it!
For medicinal purposes, how often should I vape from an e-Juice cartridge?
If you’re going to be using cannabis e-Juice to medicate, it’s always important to note how much CBD is in the product you’re buying. And here’s why. Knowing the CBD levels of an e-Juice will help you work out how often you need to smoke to relieve your pain or symptoms of the disease you have.
As you can see in the photograph above, this product has a potency of 50 milligrams of CBD. The milligrams are per milliliter, therefore, this 10ml bottle with its 50 mg strength should have 500 mg of CBD in it. On average, most e-Juice chambers within vape pens hold about 2 ml of liquid at any one time, so when you fill your e-Juice chamber, you get about 100 mg of CBD to use before you have to refill.
Interesting Side Note: The Mayo Clinic recommends that medicinal marijuana users should be looking to receive 50 mg of CBD over the course of a day. However, to treat such things as epilepsy (200 – 300 mg of CBD), sleep disorders (50 – 160 mg of CBD), MS (50 – 120 mg of CBD) and schizophrenia (50 – 1,280 mg of CBD), you’re looking at a lot more. Whilst this recommendation is based on scientific research, it’s important to remember that cannabinoid dosages and duration of treatment depend largely on the disease and the individual.
It’s quite difficult finding high-quality THC-infused e-Juices online. Because this is a legal “gray area” of vaping, quality is not regulated like it is with CBD, and this part of the industry is far from transparent. THC e-Juice makers aren’t obliged to tell you how much THC is in their liquid if it really has any in it at all! That’s why, unless you can physically watch someone extract the THC from cannabis and put it into a vial of e-Juice right in front of your eyes, it’s always better to visit a dispensary and purchase THC e-Juice from there. The staff, who should have a strong relationship with their growers/producers should know how the e-Juice was made and how genuinely potent it is. You can always test e-Juice by sending a sample to a laboratory to be analyzed. They can work out what’s exactly in your e-Juice and whether it was worth buying and worth using.
Chapter Nine – How to clean your chamber and refill your e-Juice
Cleaning your e-Juice tank on a regular basis will not only give you a healthier vape, it’ll help you get rid of the flavors from your last e-liquid.
Interesting Side Note: It’s incredibly difficult to get rid of fragrance from plastic as they absorb aromatic molecules. This is a pain with cheap or affordable portable marijuana vaporizers because many of the e-Juice chambers are made of polycarbonate plastic. The pricier models have tanks made from pyrex or glass, which don’t retain flavors if you keep them clean.
There are many different ways to clean a vape pen because some can be completely disassembled, whereas others can’t. Check out Vast Vapor’s handy YouTube video on how to clean different types of vaporizers. Watching a pro in action is a great way to learn how to clean a vape pen properly.
How to clean a vape pen which cannot be disassembled
At 1:12 you will learn how to clean a vape pen whose chamber cannot be fully removed.
Step #1 – Take your vape pen to the sink, and using a pipette, fill your tank with warm water.
Step #2 – Put your finger, tightly, over the hole, and shake vigorously.
Step #3 – Pour out the liquid after about 10 seconds of shaking and repeat twice more.
Step #4 – Pour isopropyl alcohol or vodka into the chamber – this will really help leach out any e-Juice trapped in the atomizer coil.
Step #5 – Put your finger, tightly, over the hole, and shake vigorously.
Step #6 – Rinse the tank under warm water until you’re happy the coil and the compartment are clean.
Step #7 – Leave to dry on a paper towel. It’s worth mentioning that the drying process can take up to two days, but you can speed this up by leaving it somewhere warm, like an airing cupboard. Heat speeds up evaporation, so if you’re really pressed for time, you can put it in a toaster oven at about 100 degrees for five minutes, but we don’t recommend this, you don’t want any accidents.
How to clean a vape pen which can be completely dismantled.
At 4:43 you will learn how to clean a vape pen that can be disassembled.
Step #1 – Fill a small, ceramic bowl with isopropyl alcohol, vodka or gin. Remove the mouthpiece, the chamber, the head, the base and any seals and pop them gently into the alcohol bath to soak. If you can leave it for 2 hours, brilliant, if you can leave it overnight, even better.
Step #2 – After you’ve left the components to soak for a while, come back and in the same way as you would clean a vape pen that couldn’t be fully stripped, rinse everything with warm water. The chamber should look nice and clean, and the wick should look sparkling white.
Step #3 – With the mouthpiece, make sure you blow out any water that might be trapped in reservoirs or pipes. Leave your pieces to dry naturally on a paper towel, or you can carefully dry the elements for a quicker turnaround.
How to clean a cartomizer
At 8:39 you will learn how to clean almost every kind of cartomizer there is.
The process of cleaning a cartomizer is very similar to those processes described above. You soak the parts in an alcohol bath, then rinse them clean. But because cartomizer coils can get extremely clogged up with baked e-Juice, there is an additional step to help get the wick back in pristine condition. To find out how to do this, skip to 11:51.
Interesting Side Note: Some people advise against using alcohol to clean their vape pens, as they believe its odor can taint the flavor. However, as we’ve learned earlier, many contemporary e-Juices are made using alcohol. As long as you give your chamber a good rinse afterward to remove any alcohol residue, this shouldn’t be a problem, certainly with pyrex or glass, though.
Chapter Ten – Can I make my own e-Juice?
Yes you can.
There’s a whole heap of guides, How-tos and instructional videos on the internet that share methods and recipes which can save you money. It’s also a great way to creating your own flavor concoctions, and you’ll feel pretty cool, almost like an alchemist. However, we don’t recommend making your own e-Juice. There’s a lot of research and mathematics involved, and some people just can’t be bothered devoting time to learning the skill. The thing is, you can’t be blase about making your own e-Juice, or go at it half-heartedly because precision and knowledge are the key factors to getting it right. If you don’t have those, there’s no point trying, otherwise:
- There’s a risk of poisoning – either from low-quality ingredients or from having done the mathematics incorrectly
- There’s a risk of explosion – making BHO is a risky business which has seen some homegrown marijuana chemists blow stuff and themselves up
- There’s a risk of it not working or the results not being what you wanted, which means wasted time, manpower and weed. Never a good thing!
If these risks don’t faze you, then here’s a great recipe to follow by Mr.Vape at Vapor Blog.
Pro-Tip: It’s always best to buy your e-Juice from local dispensaries or from reputable companies. Let them do all the hard, potentially dangerous and mind-numbing mathematics for you, so you can relax and enjoy high-quality vape juice.
There are many reasons why we here at Vape.net love e-Juice. They’re so easy to use, the flavors are delicious, the hit is amazing, and you get the power of cannabis concentrates. Tanks are reasonably easy to clean, though yes, the cleaning process can take time, but this type of technology is helping to push the 710 Era forwards.
If you still have any questions about e-Juice then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll send you answers back right away. We’ll also amend the guide to include the topics you got in touch about.