What is E-Liquid?
An e-liquid is comprised of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavouring, and nicotine or denatured cannabis.
E-Liquid and Nicotine
Nicotine is a yellow-brown, oily liquid, that is derived from the tobacco plant. In the context of e-liquids, purified nicotine is used.
What this means is that the tobacco plant or other nicotine source is put through an extraction process whereby all the plant material is stripped away until only nicotine remains.
This process involves the crushing of the plant source and its emulsification in, and distillation from, organic solvents ranging from alcohol, chloroform and ether to petroleum ether, kerosene, and water.
The nicotine yield from this process is pharmaceutical grade (USP 99.9%).
In addition to this, nicotine extraction can also be achieved through salt-processing whereby the liquid is turned into a sulphate salt. It requires a bleaching agent to remove impurities as well as a reagent to return it to a usable form.
It is important to note that whether liquid nicotine is colourless or not, has no bearing on its purity. Its colour is purely cosmetic.
E-Liquid and Cannabis
Is E-Liquid Bad for You?
It is difficult to make a determination on wether or not e-liquid is bad for you. It would require an evaluation, not only of the inhalation of vapour into the lungs and the acute and systemic effects on the body, but also an evaluation of the individual constituents of the e-liquid and its acute and systemic effects on the body. Moreover, the degradation of the vaping device itself over repeated use and the toxins released would also need to be quantified and tested.
As a general rule, inhaling a smoke or vapour into your lungs is by no means a healthy choice. However, vaping is less harmful than combustible products. If it was strictly a choice between the two, vaping is a better alternative to smoking.
The Canadian Government has said that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
Is E-Liquid the best delivery system for vaping?
There is an argument to be made in support of e-liquid as the best delivery system for both the ingestion of nicotine and cannabis. However, there are several things to consider. Ostensibly, e-liquid would heat more efficiently than dry herb when vaped, and would have less risk of burning. The major challenge though is determining what the optimal temperature for vaping nicotine and cannabis infused e-liquid is. Finally, developing a device that is capable of reaching and maintaining that temperature safely and efficiently.
Click the link below to learn more about the optimal temperature for vaping nicotine and cannabis, as well as the process of decarboxylation of e-liquid constituents and cannabinoids!
It is important to note that more is known about the optimal dosing of VG than PG. PG has been shown to cause irritation in higher doses, but has not been shown to cause damage at low doses.
So, most e-liquid will either be VG-based or a mix that is VG-dominant. For some information on desirable dosing of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin (mg/m³) please visit: