Organic Vape Juice – A Hoax or the Real Deal?
By Ivan Srsen Posted November 27, 2017
The world has gone bananas over organic in recent years. Pretty much everything we buy these days has an organic version, and that organic version usually has a rather exorbitant price tag. It was really only a matter of time before we started seeing the word ‘organic’ slapped on vape juice packaging.
So, what’s the deal with organic?
The term organic signifies that something was produced following guidelines set forth by a governing body – in the United States, that body is the United State’s Department of Agriculture. Beverage, food, and medicine that the manufacturer wishes to label as organic need to be produced with ingredients and methods that are approved by the USDA’s National Organic Program. If they are not, they can not be certified. The same applies to organic vape juice.
As for the benefits of anything that’s organic, they are up for debate. It’s true that no product can be labeled organic if its production involved pesticides, chemical herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers. Following that logic, it’s only natural to assume that, by using those types of products, we’re ingesting (or inhaling) less harmful substances – and, hopefully, no pesticides or herbicides, not even in trace amounts.
What about organic e-juice? Is it better and safer than non-organic e-juice?
Is Organic Vape Juice Safer?
If you ask organic aficionados, they will tell you that organic vape juice is certainly better than regular vape juice. On the other hand, ask those who are skeptical and they will say that it’s a marketing ploy that was concocted with a purpose of hiking up vape juice prices and exploiting a gullible niche of consumers.
The truth is somewhere in the middle. When it comes to the taste, there is really very little difference between regular and organic e-liquids. The real difference is in what you’re inhaling.
Organic vape juice has several benefits:
- It contains no chemical additives
- It doesn’t contain PG – always a plus for those who are allergic
- It’s highly regulated – you know what’s in every bottle of your e-juice
- It’s 100% natural and made through eco-friendly processes
Some vapers also testify that organic e-juices don’t seem to gunk up their coils as much. This might be true since they don’t contain any artificial sweeteners, which are the number one reason why coils and cotton get dirty in the first place.
In a nutshell, organic e-juices are not much better than regular juices when it comes to flavor. However, if you’re eco-conscious you might have an additional incentive to buy them because their manufacturing process is very eco-friendly.
The Difference Between ‘Organic’ & Truly Organic E-Juice
The term ‘organic’ is thrown about quite care-free these days so it’s important to know that there is a difference between someone labeling their e-juice organic and that juice really being organic. Some manufacturers use organic as a marketing gimmick – they simply state their product is organic and then raise the price. It’s pretty impossible to truly check whether or not that’s the case.
The only way to be 100% sure that the vape juice you’re buying is 100% organic is to check whether it has been certified by the USDA. If it has, the bottles are likely to have a small label on them that says ‘USDA Organic’.
Note: some companies don’t go through the certification process because it’s lengthy and expensive, and there are no guarantees they will get the certification. You really need to check all the boxes to be given the certificate, and, for obvious reasons, not every company can do that. Some will have trace amounts of inorganic flavorings or nicotine that they can’t prove was organically manufactured and extracted. Being 99% organic is not good enough to get the certificate. When this happens, perform due diligence and use common sense. There are 99% organic vape juices out there, manufactured by trusted members of the vape community. Ask around and find out if a company deserves your trust – and your money.
If a company claims to sell organic e-liquid but it’s not well-established in the community and doesn’t have a certificate, it’s likely that they are engaged in false advertising. They might have removed artificial sweeteners from their products but that might very well be it. And that, by no stretch of the definition, equals organic vape juice.
What Makes a Vape Juice Organic?
For an e-juice to make a bold claim of being organic, certain expectations need to be met. The most obvious part is that it has to use 100% organic Vegetable Glycerin. This means that vegetables used in the production of VG need to be certified organic and that the processes used to extract it need to fall under those approved by the USDA.
In addition, e-liquid manufacturers can’t use preservatives or additives. Adding artificial sweeteners and such will immediately disqualify the juice and make it non-organic. The same goes for flavorings. They need to be naturally sourced and extracted so artificial flavorings are out of the question.
Notice how two popular vape juice ingredients are missing here?
What About Propylene Glycol & Nicotine?
Propylene glycol, one of the two base liquids used by vape juice manufacturers (other being Vegetable Glycerin), has been present in most vape juices since the inception of the industry. It has several benefits over VG, one being that it’s better at carrying flavors, and the other that it produces a better throat hit. Unfortunately, PG is derived from petroleum products, which makes it completely synthetic. A vape juice cannot be considered organic if it contains even trace amounts of PG.
As for the nicotine – it might be off the table as well, at least for most manufacturers. There’s a possibility that nicotine can be obtained organically from carefully tended and monitored plantations. However, it also has to be organically extracted to be certified. That’s a very expensive process and not a lot of manufacturers are willing to invest in it.
Now you see why true organic e-juice is difficult to come by. For a 100% genuine assurance that you’re vaping organic, you will not only have to give up PG but, in most cases, you will have to give up nicotine as well. Only vape juices that contain organic VG and flavoring, and have no PG (and nicotine, unless organically extracted) can be labeled truly organic.
Organic E-Liquid Manufacturers
Getting your hands on some real organic e-liquid can be difficult, for all the obvious reasons. First of all, there’s just a handful of manufacturers making it, so the price can seem a bit out of your comfort zone. Imagine paying for 30 ml of organic e-juice at a price you normally pay for 100 ml, if not more. It’s a bit of a cold shower.
Also, there’s no way of knowing if what you’re getting is really organic, unless it has a certificate. As of now, there’s only one vape juice manufacturer that can back up their organic claim with a USDA organic certificate and that’s Pure Organic Vapors.
However, there are several other reputable manufacturers out there who create tasty organic/close to organic vape juices that you might want to check out.
As mentioned, one of them is Pure Organic Vapors. Not only do they create organic vape juice, they also manufacture their own organic nicotine, which makes them the only manufacturer that does that, at least to our knowledge. Pure Organics has their own R&D lab and ISO-certified laboratories and clean rooms, something that helped them immensely when applying for the USDA certification. They also only use US-grown ingredients that they are certain were manufactured up to their rigorous standards. Pure Organics has two organic certifications – USDA and NSF305.
The second manufacturer that is very conscientious about what they market and sell is Kai’s Virgin Vapors. As far as we can tell, they do not hold a USDA certificate, but this manufacturer has been in the industry for years and has earned the trust and the respect of vapers. They also claim that all their ingredients are USP-certified, 100% US grown and manufactured, including their nicotine. In their words, the vape juices they produce are between 98.2 and 100% organic, depending on the level of nicotine you choose.
The last manufacturer that we can confidently add to this list is The Kind Juice. Their vape juices are made from locally-sourced ingredients, including all-natural VG and cold-extraction nicotine. All flavorings are natural, without added sugars or preservatives.
Should You Buy Organic E-Liquid?
As it stands right now, it’s really a matter of preference. There hasn’t been enough testing done on organic e-juices to show whether or not they have an edge over regularly manufactured goods. If you’re concerned about what you inhale and nurture an equal concern toward the environment you inhabit, go for it.
However, if the price tag on these e-juices is something you just can’t justify, that’s fine too. There are some great products from a variety of manufacturers that taste great, despite not being organic.
Whatever you choose, you’re (probably) not making a mistake, as long as you do your homework and know what you’re buying. That said, have you ever tried organic vape juice? If you did, what’s your favorite brand? If not, would you consider it? Pop down to the comment section and let us know!