E-Liquid: To Mix or Not To Mix? That Is The Question
As the vaping industry and community alike continues to grow, it’s not surprising that the attention on safety and quality grows with it on a large majority of the products you’ll find on the market.
E-liquid has evolved enormously over the years and now comes in tens of thousands of different flavors. There really is a flavor to suit every palette, from cereals, fruits, desserts, menthols, cocktails, and of course, tobacco blends.
Yes, now you can have that Lemon Tart without the shame!
E-liquids contain four main ingredients:
- Propylene Glycol – used as a flavoring carrier in food products, as an ingredient in food coloring, and also used as an additive in various medicines.
- Vegetable Glycerin – a sweet, thick, vegetable based liquid, often used as a sugar substitute in products such as flavored milks.
- Food-grade Flavorings
- Nicotine – optional, of course
Since the very beginnings of the vaping industry people have had the ability to create their own e-liquids at home. Although this sounds like an exciting and pretty awesome thing to do, it’s not recommended as the best choice for beginners, no matter how good you looked in high school science class sporting your white lab coat.
Having said that, creating juices at home does carry three solid advantages:
- The freedom of customizing flavors and creating blends that haven’t been created (good luck coming up with one now, though)
- The freedom to change nicotine levels anytime you desire, to any level you desire.
- The biggest advantage to anyone mixing their own is the price of goods, as bulk purchasing direct from a wholesaler is always a little kinder to the wallet.
But like everything, along with advantages come disadvantages. For starters, you’re making it at home as opposed to buying a bottle that you know has been formulated and manufactured by industry professionals, often in an ISO-Certified Clean Room, ready to vape the moment you fill up your tank.
It can also be extremely time-consuming, and some people prefer to pay that little more for the convenience. For instance, creamier flavors really require quite a bit of resting time before they’ll taste nice. This is known as “steeping”. You’ll have to leave some of them on the shelf for weeks before you know if you’ve nailed it, and if they’re still bad after all that time, well, back to the drawing board.
Even though we mentioned the cost savings above, when you’re just starting out it can actually be a lot more expensive. Once you have your recipes perfect, sure it can be much cheaper. But when you’re starting you’re going to be experimenting and creating some disasters, all of which will inevitably end up in the trash.
“An awareness of the toxicity of nicotine – not only from ingesting it, but from skin contact – is an important aspect that the public often is unaware of, and that may lead to toxic symptoms that are a manifestation of an “overdose”: rapid heart beat, elevated blood pressure, along with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, confusion, and potentially seizures leading to a coma, and potentially death. With more severe exposures, low blood pressure along with a low heart rate are ominous signs.“
One of the dangers for people is miscalculating measurements, which can result in very high nicotine concentrations that can be harmful to your health, not to mention a lot wasted products.
Another danger is that some levels of nicotine can have some pretty serious affects on your health simply by touching it or getting it on your skin. If you’re handling any nicotine concentration, using gloves and long sleeves is a must.
We recommend using this E-liquid Calculator to do your measurements to avoid making mistakes as you begin your juice making. This will help to save you money, but could also help to save your life should your cat run across your work bench.
Personally I prefer to always buy my juices right off the shelf or online. Having them delivered right to your door is always a far more convenient and comforting option than mixing your own. The single greatest benefit is knowing exactly what you’re getting every time, without fail, or wondering how your DIY will turn out while you’re still waiting for it to “steep” after 2 weeks.
If you are still considering making your own it’s important that you educate yourself thoroughly on how to mix safely.