What is Vegetable Glycerin?

Vegetable glycerin (VG) is used in place of propylene glycol in order to make the visual vapor created when you use an electronic cigarette. It is a carbohydrate which is created from plant oils and is also used in both cosmetics and sweeteners. VG can also be used to extract botanical products in place of alcohol.

Vegetable glycerin is produced in varying grades to include food-grade which is 99.7% pure VG with the remainder being water. VG is commonly used in foods that are marketed as being low in carbs and is not considered harmful to your teeth.

E-cigarette users, however, like to use VG for three reasons:

1. As a substitute for propylene glycol if they are allergic to PG. 

2. If they want to use a little greener mix in their e-liquid.

3. It produces thicker vapor clouds.

VG also has uses in soaps for people who have sensitive skin and helps to act as a moisturizer for the affected person’s skin. Because of the moisturizing effect, VG has also been used as a remedy for dry skin, rashes, burns, cuts, and even bedsores. Some uses of VG have found it to be useful to help treat gum disease when administered by a dentist.

The primary means to produce vegetable glycerin is from plants although it can be produced from the byproducts of animal fat used to make soap. Normally VG will be made by heating palm or coconut oil to an extremely high temperature, putting under pressure with water mixed in, and then having it splitting off from the fatty acids into the water. The water is then further distilled to remove the VG.

Other Uses for Vegetable Glycerin include:

In de-icing fluids

Non-evaporating substitutes

Citric Acid production

Cosmetic bonding agent in makeup to include lipstick, lip-gloss, lotions, and eye shadows

Bodybuilding supplements for increase of nitric oxide

Compost additive

Anti-drying agent in watercolor paint

Preservative to use in hookah tobacco

As a substitute for PG