Modern-day vapers, exhausted by all the thousands of vape juice flavors out there, are making the switch to flavorless e-liquid. E-juice with no flavor is precisely what it sounds like.
It can be pure PG mixed with nicotine, or pure VG blended with nicotine, or a mix of both with nicotine of various strengths, from 0mg to as high as 100mg.
Vape juice purists, for whom “vape juice has no flavor” is an important creed, also use unflavored e-juice to dilute strong-tasting, flavored e-juices.
Despite flavorless being the “hot new thing” in vaping, people looking to try unflavored vape juices have only one option to find them: the Internet.
Brick and mortar vape shops are not known to sell e-juice bases. If they do, they are in small quantities, and the prices can be quite steep. The majority of online vape retailers now sell e-liquid bases, whether it be VG, PG or liquid nicotine or all three.
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#1 Fusion Unflavored E-Liquid by Halo Cigs
And the great thing about Fusion is the fact that despite it having no “flavor,” it doesn’t bring down the flavor profile of whatever it is mixed with. It will not water down your cherry vanilla or blueberry pancakes into something unpalatable. It enhances flavor, rather than erasing it.
Halo offers both a 10 ml and 30ml size option ($6.99 and $16.99, respectively), a standard 50/50 VG/PG mix, or a 70/30 VG/PG mix, and nicotine levels starting at zero and going all the way to 36mg.
#2 Unflavored/Flavorless E-Liquid by Juishy Juice
Juishy Juice offers their additive-free e-juice in twelve different combinations. The options range from 0mg of nicotine, in a 70/30 VG/PG mix, or a 24mg option that skews more toward PG with a 70/30 PG/VG mix. But with twelve options available, you can mix and match to your heart’s content.
If you are feeling adventurous (or just plain lazy), you can vape the no-taste e-liquid by itself or add whatever flavor concentrates you like. And the best part is that a 100ml bottle of whatever combination costs just $7 from vapes.com.
#3 Mt. Baker Vapor Unflavored E-Juice
The price tag for a 240ml bottle – $20 + shipping – of unflavored e-juice may be more than other brands. But the fact that Mt. Baker perpetually sells out of their quality-made flavorless e-juice can attest to its popularity.
Customers rave about the pure flavor of the juice, while also lauding it for not gunking up their coil builds like flavored e-juices typically do. The smooth, pleasing character of Mt. Baker’s plain e-juice also makes it a winner for DIY vapers, or anyone who’s allergic to PG.
Mt. Baker offers a max VG option, as well as every PG/VG combination on the spectrum, from 50PG/50VG to 30PG/70VG.
#4 Pure 100 VG Juice from Vape Wild
Vape Wild sells their 99.7% pure VG juice in 30ml bottles, for the very low price of $2 and it is the ultimate tool for anyone looking to claim cloud supremacy.
Vape Wild cautions their users to use this thickest of juices only with custom RDA builds, as it may be too thick to be absorbed by factory-made coils. The Pure 100 VG juice can also be used to wash away the aftertaste of your previous juice from your coil build.
#5 VG Juice from Vape Wild
This vape juice comes nicotine-free, so it doesn’t have that same kick you would expect from other unflavored varieties. But that is the whole point of unflavored you can mix and dilute as much as you want so that you can get to your ideal level of vaping satisfaction.
The recipe for the best-unflavored e-juice is a matter of taste, however, as vapers can experiment with whatever combination suits them best. Only, vaping unflavored e-juice is as old (or as new) as vaping itself.
The first e-liquids in cig-a-likes had little to no taste (other than tobacco-flavor), a fact many younger vapers may have forgotten or never even known. Flavored e-juices came about along with advances in vaping technology, like the cartomizer.
But flavor has always had its part to play in the history and evolution of e-cigarettes. Herbert A. Gilbert, the creator of the first e-cigarette design, wrote in his patent that his device would produce “heated, moist, flavored air.”
Hon Lik, the inventor of the modern day e-cigarette, had a more utilitarian view about his invention. Lik was not thinking about satisfying taste buds when he was looking for a suitable liquid to blend with nicotine.
Lik believed smokers would only use e-cigarettes to get their nicotine fix, not because they liked the flavor of what they were inhaling or because they could make spectacular plumes of smoke. He stumbled onto propylene glycol (PG) as the best choice to use in his e-cigarette because:
- PG has a two-year shelf life
- PG is an FDA-approved substance
- PG creates clouds similar to cigarette smoke when vaporized
And, as most DIY vapers know, PG is both odorless and flavorless making it utterly inoffensive to everyone’s sense of smell and taste. Except, one problem with PG is that it can cause an allergic reaction.
Later makers of e-liquids switched to vegetable glycerin, as an alternative to PG since it has hypoallergenic properties, so it is safe for everyone. Vegetable glycerin is much more syrupy and thicker than PG.
Early users of VG found it could create even denser clouds than PG e-juices, which delivered more powerful throat hits. VG also has a naturally sweet taste to it, which is why vapers have no problem vaping only VG, without any added flavorings.
|Fusion Unflavored E-Liquid by Halo Cigs||10ml/30ml|
|Unflavored/Flavorless E-Liquid by Juishy Juice||100ml|
|Mt. Baker Vapor Unflavored E-Juice||240ml|
|Pure 100 VG Juice from Vape Wild||30ml|
|VG Juice from Vape Wild||240ml|
No Flavor, No Problem
Unflavored vape juice is not new. But why are so many going back to basics and vaping flavorless e-juice?
The answers are simple:
- Vapers are cleansing their palates
- Vapers are saving money too
To be able to appreciate all the subtle flavors of wine, whiskey, and food, experts sip water in between tastings. Unflavored e-liquid achieves the same effect.
The mania that grew up around DIY e-juice made it so that vapers could flavor their concoctions with anything they wanted. Vapers, as well as vape companies, tried to outdo each other by creating the oddest, most unique taste experiences imaginable.
This pioneering spirit led to the creation of such far-fetched e-liquid flavors like pizza, bacon and nacho-flavored e-juices. And since vapers are creatures of variety, they tried as many of them as possible.
Only, trying all those strange flavors overloaded more sensitive taste buds, making it difficult to distinguish between cola e-juice and Red Bull e-juice. Vapers started complaining about not being able to taste anything, let alone e-juice.
The cost-effectiveness of no-flavor vape juice is another reason for its current popularity. It is much less expensive to order a nicotine base, and then mix it with a PG or vegetable glycerin component, instead of always having to order more of your favorite brand.
A typical, 100mg nicotine base can cost anywhere between $6-$8, for a 60ml bottle. The higher the nicotine content, however, the higher the price.
A no-nicotine base costs less than $4 for a 60ml bottle. The liquid nicotine can come already blended with your choice of PG or VG, or you can order them separately, which will set you back another $5 for both.
Prices for e-juice bases vary between vendors, but they are much less than the going prices for the most popular flavored brands. By comparison, a 10ml bottle of flavored e-juice from Halo Cigs starts at $20 and goes up from there if you get a bigger size.
Vape heads have embraced clear, flavorless vape juice for other reasons as well. Its sudden surge in popularity coincides with the controversy surrounding flavored e-liquids as of late.
Study after study has come out espousing the dangers not only of e-juice, but the chemicals used to flavor e-liquids as well.
First, there was the study that linked an often-used ingredient in most vape juices, diacetyl, with the chronic lung ailment, bronchiolitis obliterans, colloquially known as “popcorn lung.”
Then came a pair of studies that took direct aim at the chemicals responsible for flavoring a majority of popular e-liquid flavors. One study found that certain combinations of flavored e-liquids, and not the nicotine or other bases used to manufacture them, were responsible for deformations in tadpole larvae.
Robert Tarran, a cell biologist who led a study looking at the toxicity of chemicals used to flavor e-juices put it succinctly, when he said, “The more chemicals there tended to be in the e-liquid, the more toxic it tended to be.”
This is not to say that vapers believe the hype. If they are making the switch to flavorless, they are coming to it organically, rather than being motivated by the headlines.
The spirit of experimentation that propelled vaping technology forward is also responsible for why people are suddenly flocking to tasteless e-juice. They want to try something different.
And they are saying as much online. Vapers litter e-cigarette forums with comments admitting that, ironically enough, flavorless tastes better.
The Flavor of Flavorless
People on e-cigarette forums have numerous opinions on what flavorless “tastes” like. Taste is something very subjective, obviously, but the variety of flavors that vapers ascribe to flavorless vape juice is astounding:
- One e-cigarette-forum.com contributor said his 100% VG, 100 mg nicotine base tastes exactly like a Marlboro Light
- Another contributor said his unflavored, 100% VG juice had a “peppery” taste
- A majority of vapers, however, say that unflavored has a “slightly sweet” taste
But vapers are divided on what combination of PG and VG, and nicotine base, makes the best flavorless e-juice. This is where personal preferences kick in, and where people play with mixing and calculating degrees of how much PG, or VGand liquid nicotine they want to use in their e-juice if any at all.
They all have many motivations for making the switch as well. A common complaint among vapers about the nearly 7,000 known varieties of e-juice flavors is that they frequently suffer from “flavor fatigue.”
Vapers are bombarded every day with new types of e-liquid, and they eagerly try them all, hoping to find the perfect one for them. This glut of flavors, however, can lead to an inability to distinguish between anything.
Others are not sure whether it is the years of smoking that lead to their diminished sense of taste, making it almost impossible to notice any flavor, which is why they prefer to vape e-juice with no flavorings.
One commentator on e-cigarette-forum.com put forward a series of rhetorical questions, to explain why he vaped only no-taste vape juice, and, to be honest, their arguments make a lot of sense:
“Do I use artificial flavour for cooking, do I drink flavoured juices? No and no. Did I smoke cigarettes with varying flavours? No I didn’t. So why should I vape with flavour and/or different flavours, just because it is customary to do so?”
The No-Flavor Pushers
Vape companies were quick to jump on the flavor bandwagon as soon as they discovered DIY vapers mixing their own juices. The invention of the cartomizer also paved the way for multi-flavored e-juices, which spurred on vape companies to mass produce their own liquids.
The pendulum has swung the other way though. Perhaps sensing that die-hard vape heads wanted to mix their e-liquids and were getting tired of overly artificial flavors, vape companies also started selling the necessary ingredients of all e-juices, namely PG, VG and liquid nicotine in varying strengths.
But it’s not only vape juice manufacturers, like Halo Cigs and Mt. Baker, who are selling the base ingredients of e-juice.
Websites like liquidnicotinewholesalers.com and liquidbarn.com are just two of the sites where tastemakers, DIY vapers and even large manufacturers can purchase all the necessary components for unflavored e-juice.
The Future of Flavor
Is flavorless the future of e-liquids? It is hard to say.
E-cigarettes started as an alternative to analog cigarettes. But they have come a long way since then. The technology has changed, and tastes have evolved as well.
People fond of cloud-chasing started experimenting with coil resistances, and different wire materials, which eventually gave birth to sub-ohm tanks. And in that vein, people interested in a better-tasting vape started making their own e-liquids.
Now, people wanting a purer vape have been flirting with an almost Zen-like approach to the concept of flavor. But all these pursuits are never-ending, as the many breeds of vaper chase perfection endlessly.