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Why is My Vape Juice Harsh? The Top 4 Reasons And How To Fix Them

Why is My Vape Juice Harsh?

Andres Roman |

There’s nothing worse than buying a vape juice bottle, and the first thing you notice is that the e-liquid is harsh. Fortunately, there are many reasons why this happens and just as many solutions to this problem. In today’s blog, we go over the main reasons (in our eyes) why this happens and how to fix it. So if you’re ready, let’s dive in.  

Table of Contents:

  1. The PG/VG Ratio is Off
  2. You’re Using Too Much Nicotine
  3. You’re Using Nicotine Salts With a Box Mod
  4. You’re Not Using Nicotine Salts
  5. Conclusion

The PG/VG Ratio is Off

One of the major reasons your vape juice might seem too harsh is that the PG/VG ratio is off. If you don’t know, there are four ingredients in nicotine: propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine (which is optional), and artificial flavorings. Each ingredient plays a part in the vaping experience, and too much or too little of an ingredient can completely change the vaping experience. 

As you probably guessed by now, the two most important ingredients are vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. Vegetable glycerin makes the vape juice smoother on your throat, and it also creates large clouds of vapor, while the propylene glycol creates a harsher experience on your throat but also creates more flavor. 

If your vape juice has too much PG, let’s say 30VG/70PG. It might be more flavorful, but it will also be very harsh on your throat. A better ratio would be 70VG/30PG, which will make the vape juice much smoother. So if you believe that your vape juice is too harsh, check the vape juice bottle. It will most likely tell you that there is too much PG in the recipe, or it will say that the PG ratio is much higher than the VG ratio. To fix this next time, buy a bottle that has a higher VG percentage. 

You’re Using Too Much Nicotine

This is often the real reason why your vape juice is harsh. You probably started with too much nicotine on your first try. For those unaware, vape juice can be chosen based on their nicotine strength; for example, a flavor of vape juice might be sold with 0mg of nicotine (which means it has zero nicotine), or with 3mg, or 6mg, all the way to 18mg. 

If you choose a vape juice with high nicotine strength, you will most likely experience a very harsh throat hit. This happens most likely because your body is not used to that amount of nicotine, which will make it react negatively, making you cough. 

We suggest instead of buying vape juices with a high amount of nicotine that you buy vape juices with a low amount of nicotine and work your way up. This way, you will never choose a vape juice that has too much nicotine. Start at 3mg, and go to 6mg, then 12mg, and 18mg if you feel you aren’t getting enough nicotine. As long as you start at the bottom, you’ll never experience a harsh vape or a vape you’re not used to. 

You’re Using Nicotine Salts With a Box Mod

Another reason why you are experiencing a harsh vape is that you could be using nicotine salts with a box mod. This is a huge no-no since the high power of these devices were created for freebase nicotine and not nicotine salts. Also, nicotine salts come in very high strengths of nicotine, reaching 50mg, but since they were invented to be used with pod systems that aren’t high powdered, they actually are very smooth when used with pod systems. However, the problem begins when you use a 50mg nicotine salt with box mod which heats up the vape juice quicker and gets it into your bloodstream within seconds, making you cough and have a very harsh vape.

To resolve this, make sure, if you are planning on using nicotine salts with a box mod, that you use lower strength nic salts that are, for example, below 10 mg of nicotine content. Although they are harder to find, they do exist. 

You’re Not Using Nicotine Salts

While we just got finished saying you shouldn’t use nicotine salts with box mods, there is something to be said about using nicotine salts with low-powered devices. Nicotine salts and pod systems were invented for each other, and while nicotine salts might come in high strengths when used with pod systems, they are extremely smooth. So another reason why you might be experiencing a harsh throat is because the throat hit of regular (or freebase) nicotine might be too harsh for you and what you need with your pod system is nicotine salts. By using nicotine salts that are smoother, you’ll get rid of the harshness of freebase nicotine; however, be warned that you will be absorbing a higher quantity of nicotine. For some people trying to quit, this might be a step backward. 


To recap, there are many reasons why your vape juice could be harsh. Your vape juice could have a higher percentage of PG, it could have too much nicotine, you could be using nicotine salts with a box mod, or you are not using nicotine salts with your pod system, which are smoother than regular nicotine. We hope that with this quick blog, you are able to pinpoint why your vape juice is harsh and hopefully solve this problem.


EjuiceDB articles and blogs are meant to entertain and educate. However, we are not medical professionals and do not intend to give medical advice through them. Furthermore, Vaping products and nicotine use are only meant for persons over the age of 21.

Children, breastfeeding and pregnant women, persons with risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or that take medications especially for depression or asthma should not use nicotine or vaping products. Always consult a licensed physician prior to use.