VG vs. USP glycerin HELP!

Discussion in 'General Vaping Discussion' started by ctruth, Nov 8, 2009.

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  1. ctruth

    ctruth Super Member ECF Veteran

    I got a sampler bottle labeled “50% PG-50% VG” from a vendor. The bottle had a distinctive pungent sweet odor. I mixed this 50/50 with two separate flavored 24mg e-liquids. After vaping, within an hour I was experiencing a headache and nasal dripping. After 2 hours and 2 Excedrins, the symptoms went away.

    I don’t believe I have ever used VG in the past. I can’t imagine that VG alone would have such an effect on my system. I concluded that my symptoms were a byproduct of that “sweet” odor, whatever it was. When I again mixed these same e-liquid flavors 50/50 with plain USP glycerin, there was no adverse effect after vaping.

    This is my dilimma:
    Can there possibly be that much of a difference between Vegetable Glycerin and plain USP glycerin?
    Or would the culprit in fact be some other ingredient in the VG/PG bottle?

  2. david 1300c

    david 1300c Senior Member ECF Veteran

    From what I recall USP Glycerin is VG. At least there seems to be a lot of info out there that states it that way...
  3. doots

    doots Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I think they are 1 in the same thing.

    You can always get a bottle of VG at Walmart or health food store.

    Mix with any PG liquid you might have to cut.
  4. NightShadow

    NightShadow Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Vg = vegetable glycerine

    Glycerine = might not be made from vegetables but animals.

    Some people cant tollerate VG just as some cant use PG, due to adverse affects. if you find one is not for you, just dont use it :)
  5. WonderfulMe

    WonderfulMe Super Member ECF Veteran

    Glycerine can be USP, that means it's pure (or as pure as possible) But if it isn't labeled Vegetable glycerine, even if it's usp, it may not be derived from vegetables. It can also be derived while rendering pig fat. Some people argue that glycerine is glycerine regardless of it's source, but I question this because USP means 99.7% pure. That other .3 % may be different in pig-glycerine and VG.
    The huumco glycerine, for instance, comes from rendering pig fat. This vendor may not realize that glycerine and VG are not the same thing. Or maybe their glycerine isn't USP, I had some bad effects from using non USP. Either way it may be worth trying some USP vegetable glycerine, but it is harder to find. I found mine at a local community market.
    The sweet smell is normal. VG tends to be thicker and sweeter than PG
    Hope that helps
  6. ctruth

    ctruth Super Member ECF Veteran

    It helps a lot!

    I have been waiting all day to get some answers and to hear from people with similar experiences.

    The glycerin I use is labeled "Pure Glycerin USP" from CVS pharmacy.

    So, combining my negative experience with yours, I gather that the unknown "3%" difference in the vendors VG and/or the pungent sweet smelling stuff, was actually what did me in.

    I think it seved as enough of a warning that I will in the future stick to my USP glycerin and USP PG liquids exclusively.

    Incidently. this is where I buy my PG-really great price:
    Natural Bulk Cosmetic Bases * Soapmaking * Soap making Supplies * Essential Oils * Bulk Bases * Wholesale Soap Supplies * Private Labeling * Contract Packaging * Soap Making Supplies

    Thank you so much.

  7. WonderfulMe

    WonderfulMe Super Member ECF Veteran

    ctruth- yeah, cvs stuff is definitely pig-glycerine (for lack of a better name) That's where I went when I first bought some and the pharmacist there explained it to me. I think he was scratching his head as to why I was so interested in glycerine though lol. If it doesn't say vegetable on the bottle, it probably isn't.
  8. toddmori

    toddmori Full Member

    To be compliant with the United Stated Pharmacopoeia (USP), Glycerin must contain 99.5% Glycerin, Anhydrous; and 0.5% Water. In the past the most cost effective method of isolating Glycerin was through the rendering of animal fats. Currently, Glycerin is a byproduct of the creation of biodiesel, and this is now the most cost effective method of isolating Glycerin. You can go buy Glycerin from an "Organic" supplier, but remember 99% of the time, organic on the front label is just a marketing term, and if it isn't USDA Certified Organic, it isn't really Organic. Also, for those of you who think Kosher Glycerin is something special, well, remember, unless you are Jewish, there is no difference between any USP Glycerin. All Kosher means in this case is that a Rabbi has blessed the process that it is made by. Since almost all Glycerin available on the market today can be traced directly back to HUMCO, if some is Kosher, All is Kosher, because the same people made all of it, through the same process.

    Now, if you want to spend 2x as much, or even more for a fancy label, and some quaint marketing, feel free, but please do not spew paranoia where people are looking for rational answers and discussions.

    HTH, HAND :cool:
  9. General Idea

    General Idea Unregistered Supplier

    Kosher means that the process and the product are supervised by a rabbi - meaning there is 0% chance of getting "pig glycerine" 0.0000001% pig and it's not kosher.

  10. markarich159

    markarich159 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    They should make this a sticky because the newbies always ask this question. I'm a pharmacist in PA. I'm going to copy and paste a post I wrote in another subforum:

    Go to the skin care aisle of most any pharmacy and you'll find a small(usually 6oz) bottle labled Glycerine, USP(Some pharmacies don't carry outright , but will special order for you). The label may have it listed as CVS Glycerine, USP or Rite Aid Glycerine, USP or Humco Glycerine, USP or Family Pharmacy Glycerine, USP etc.. you get my point. Whatever it's labeled, it's Glycerine, USP 99.5% anhydrous(meaning 0.5% water). It will cost anywhere from $3 to $6 for 6oz.(CHEAP) This is vegetable glycerine, absolutely, positively, no doubt. How do I know this? I'm a pharmacist. All OTCglycerine,USP is made by 1 single manufacturer, HUMCO. It is then contract packaged into the different pharmacy labeled bottles. I've personally called HUMCO and spoke with their QA(quality assurance) person. He assured me that HUMCO's Glycerine is in fact Vegetable source Glycerine. The reason it's labeled Glycerine and not Vegetable Glycerine is because #1 it is listed in the USP as Glycerine, USP and therefore(in order to keep the USP certification) must be labeled as it's listed in the USP. #2 it would cause confusion as Glycerine is Glycerine(regardless of the source - chemically 1,2,3-propane triol also sometimes referred to as Glycerol), to add the moniker VEGETABLE, makes it sound like it's two different and distinct products, it isn't. Also, USP grade Glycerine is the purest you can get. Food Grade "vegetable Glycerine" you get in health food store saying 99.9% is BS. Since they do not have to meet any standard(such as USP standards) they could say anything, they could say 10000% pure. If you get USP grade, you know you are getting exactly what is labeled(within allowable USP limits) and it is made to most stringent requirements available in the US. (i.e. USP stands for United States Pharmacopeia- drugs have meet higher standards then foods do). Kashrut(kosher) laws are Jewish religious dietary laws having to do with the preparation of food products and really have nothing to do with the labeled purity of the product. Also, Kashrut(kosher) laws are jurisdictional(handled differently in different places). In some cases a rabbi must come to the manufacturer and verify processes and equipment conform to kosher law and in some places it's enough that the manufacturer says or thinks he is conforming to the kosher laws. In any case USP and Kosher are 2 different things. There is no such listing in the USP for "Kosher Glycerine". To the people who are feeling naseous using pharmacy bought Glycerine, USP, it may be a placebo effect(thinking your not using the real VG) or you may have a sensitivity to Glycerine(unlikely). But it is not because the Pharmacy bought Glycerine,USP is inferior or NOT Vegetable Glycerine.
  11. markarich159

    markarich159 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Can you please tell me where the CVS was where you heard this. Address , City and State. Please be careful what information you disseminate in the forums before checking proper pharmacopeial or manufacturing sources. Refer to my post above.
  12. WonderfulMe

    WonderfulMe Super Member ECF Veteran

    I was told by a CVS pharmacist that there are two sources for glycerine, from vegetables and rendering pig fat. He said theirs was from rendering pig fat. If he was wrong, I apologize for "spewing paranoia", like I said, just telling you what the pharmacist told me. Just like every one else here, I am also looking for rational answers and discussions.

    As to the 99.5% pure that was my misunderstanding, sorry. Thank you for clearing that up.
  13. markarich159

    markarich159 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    The "spewing paranoia" quote was from someone else , not me. The concern I had with repect to porcine(pig) source VG(or anything for that matter) is possible religious , or even worse, allergenicity issues. Usually porcine sourced anything must be clearly labeled as a certain percentage of the population is allergic to porcine source products(i.e diabetics with porcine allergy cannot use porcine source insulin, etc...). Also, in terms of religion, orthodox Jewish and Islamic consumers would be mortified if they found out they were ingesting porcine source products of any kind.
    I just didn't want a general panic started from sensitive people who may have thought they were ingesting Porcine source VG through vaping.
  14. General Idea

    General Idea Unregistered Supplier

    Yes, they should make it a sticky - I ran into it in another forum but the pig thing sent me reeling.

    Again, the pig thing is important to me. I am Jewish and have observed the laws of kashrus my entire life - never had a pig product and never ate at McDonalds (among other places and beliefs). With your assurance, I'm gonna run down the street and grab some usp to blend and try. Otherwise, the whole rendered pig fat thing would make me handle the stuff like it might contain cyanide...

    The rabbi (or certifiaction group of rabbis - called a vaad) who certifies a product (usually edible food product) as kosher exercises common sense in determining if there is any possibility a product could be contaminated by non kosher substances. The lower the chance, the less supervision. When meat or grape products are involved the supervision level skyrockets, for USP glycerin - no pig, no prob...
  15. General Idea

    General Idea Unregistered Supplier

    so I went and got a bottle of usp at cvs. tried a few blends with dekang liquid and I like it a lot. I am surprised how much it depletes the flavor though so I am trying using smaller amounts. I feel the vapor is definately more pleasant and smoke-like.
  16. Konstantyne

    Konstantyne Full Member

    Great thread! I am just getting into mixing my own, so I find this info very helpful!
  17. Lumiis

    Lumiis Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    This would be a question to the pharmacist, I have Humco PG, which I love!

    The question/ problem i have is trying to figure out whether the PG is being absorbed through the lungs, or settling there..

    If it's the latter, it could prove pretty harmful.

    Note: I am not trying to raise caution, or scare anyone! I Love my PG, just a general question concerning the absorption of it into the body!

    Again, there have been no proven side effects of digested or inhaled PG, just curious is all...
  18. phillyd

    phillyd Senior Member ECF Veteran

    The question/ problem i have is trying to figure out whether the PG is being absorbed through the lungs, or settling there..

    I saw a Youtube video of a Dr. defending the ingredients of E-cigs and he said that PG is not ingested into the lungs only the nicotine. I was amazed at that comment and that is what led me to finally buying my 510. I do not know how true that statement is but the guy really promotes e-cigs so I figured it was truthfull
  19. Lumiis

    Lumiis Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    That doesn't make much sense, as most of the vapor produced is from the PG, I believe more than just nicotine is being ingested...
  20. Pyrate

    Pyrate Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Pig Glycerin! LOL!
    I wonder if it tastes like bacon.

    As to the question if PG is absorbed into the lungs and is harmful, I have heard the Propylene Glycol is used/vaporized in Hospitals as a disinfectant.
    Also, I work in the Entertainment business and use Theatrical Fog (PG based) all the time and when we do there are always signs posted stating to the fact that "Theatrical Smoke is not harmful".
    If it was harmful I should be dead by now.
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