Standard vs Sub-Ohm E-liquid: What's the Difference?

When you're new to vaping, understanding the difference between standard and sub-ohm setups can be confusing at first.

What's the difference between a regular and sub-ohm set up? And what happens if you use sub-ohm e-liquids in your regular e-cig kit? Today we're lifting the lid on some of the most common questions when it comes to sub-ohm vaping.

A brief overview

First, a brief overview. The term 'sub-ohm' is used when the resistance of an atomiser coil is less than 1ohm - an ohm is the unit of measurement used to represent coil resistance. When the resistance of the coil is lower, more electrical current can flow through, so the coil heats up faster and to a higher temperature.

A lower resistance coil helps produce large clouds of vapour - which is why sub-ohm vapers are often also called cloud chasers. Hotter coils mean more liquid is vapourised quicker, leading to thicker clouds and bigger flavour.

To do it safely, you need the right kit; a box mod and battery that can produce the right voltage, a sub tank with plenty of air flow, a low resistance coil, and a high VG liquid.

While in appearance regular e-cigarettes and sub-ohm setups look almost the same, they are different, and trying to sub-ohm vape without the right kit can be dangerous and won't produce the results you want.

So where do e-liquids fit in to all this?

Sub-ohm e-liquids

It's not hard to see why you need the right hardware to get sub-ohm vaping right, but why does it need its own liquid?

All e-liquids are made up of two main components; PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerine). PG is the ingredient that simulates the scratchy feeling at the back of the throat you're used to from cigarette smoking. VG on the other hand is thicker - it's smooth and can hold a lot of flavour and produce more vapour.

When you're sub-ohm vaping you inhale a large quantity of vapour, which is why high-VG formulas work best.

If you try and use a traditional e-liquid with a higher PG ratio, you won't produce as much cloud and will end up with too much nicotine and a strong throat hit - a totally unpleasant experience.

The high VG formulas on the other hand are designed to feel smooth and comfortable and give you plenty of cloud. But they don't work well in a normal sub tank - often the liquids will be too thick to flow through the coil, drying it out and leaving a burned taste in the mouth instead

At the end of the day, choosing the right PG/VG ratio is about finding something that's compatible with your hardware rather than taste - there's amazing flavours in both standard and sub-ohm e-liquids, so you won't need to give up your favourites if you make the transition to a new kit.