As vaping becomes more and more popular, we’ll see different enticing marketing strategies to make the pool of vapers out there want to buy a specific brand of ejuice. Something I’ve seen recently that really bothered me is organic and natural ejuices being advertised online and in stores. I know in the recent decade, organic foods have been sought after by people for their health benefits and they come with an immensely higher price tag as well. Although organic fruits and vegetables can be easily purchased, a true organic e-juice can be a little harder to find.
For something to be considered organic, it cannot use chemical pesticides as well as be approved by the USDA organic standards. Before a restaurant or grocery store can even advertise organic produce being sold, the product needs to be certified by the USDA National Organic Program. Needless to say, most of these ejuice vendors do not meet these standards. However, let’s break down the e-juice being sold so we can clarify how to actually determine if an e-juice is organic.
(There are two vendors that we have tried that do fall under these guidelines: Virgin Vapor and Kind Juice.)
PG or Propylene Glycol is used as part of the base for the e-juice. It is often used to give a deeper throat hit as well as bind flavors to the base of the eliquid. PG is also a synthetic compound. That is you won’t be finding this is your local farms as it is lab made and obviously not certified by the USDA as organic in any means. I can stop here, but let’s continue. Ethyl alcohol or ethanol has many of the same properties as PG, and it can be rated as an organic compound, but it is dangerous to your health if used in high concentrations. So on one side part of the eliquid can be organic but it’ll be harmful to you, but, on the other hand, the high-priced organic eliquid may not be organic at all.
VG or Vegetable Glycerin can be organic. VG is derived from vegetables, and as long as they are organically grown, there is no reason why VG cannot be an organic substance. In fact, if the eliquid only uses VG as a base, an argument can be had that the eliquid could be organic.
Now the flavoring is almost always suspended in PG. As we already know, PG is not an organic compound. Most of the time the artificial flavorings used are not organic either. So bear this in mind when purchasing “organic” eliquid. However, some companies do sell natural and organic flavorings. The flavorings should not be used for vaping as to be organic they could contain lipids as well as biomolecules that are not suitable for vaping. Lipids in the e-juice could lead to something called lipid pneumonia (lung-damaging disease) if inhaled.
Last but not least there is the nicotine. Nicotine is one of the oldest pesticides out there and derived from tobacco leaves. However, it is not on the approved list of pesticides that can be used for something to be considered organic. Although nicotine may be natural and organic in nature, nicotine is not considered to be an organic product according to the USDA. Most nicotine used in e-liquids can be from “naturally handpicked tobacco” but what was applied to it during its growth will be harder to uncover.
According to a recent study, 90% of all tobacco is full of pesticides. Some pesticides are organic but determining this would involve digging deeper into a certain vendor’s suppliers.
So for an eliquid to be completely organic (as some vendors do advertise), they have to be nicotine free and use only vegetable glycerin as its base.
The flavoring has to be organic as well and thus cannot use PG as to suspend the flavoring. Organic flavor extracts don’t use PG but are suspended in lipids and well as biomolecules which should not be used in vaping. Lastly, nicotine shouldn’t be used at all for something to be considered organic. So from the e-liquid breakdown, I’ve concluded that if the e-juice is made purely out of VG and use no nicotine, it could be considered organic. However, many e-juice always manufacturers use a mixture of PG and VG in their base as well as sell their e-juice with nicotine in it. Ergo you aren’t buying a truly organic product.