No, gummy bears aren’t just for kids.
They’re small and can be taken anywhere, they don’t melt or leak in your hand or purse, they’re easy to store until you want them, and they come in dozens of yummy flavors.
Oh – and they can be tons of fun to eat when made with cannabis-infused coconut oil, hash oil or cannabis tincture.
It can be hard to find cannabis-infused gummies, even in legal dispensaries. The candies have been banned in many states because of the possibility that kids could get their hands on them. (Some lawmakers support bans under the pretense that edibles “target children” – but that’s another debate for another time.) And in stores where cannabis gummies are available, the dosage is usually extremely low. For instance, in California and Illinois, the maximum dose is 10mg, enough for a good time or for a beginner, but not enough to pack much of a punch.
Do you need better reasons to spend an hour or two in the kitchen, to whip up your own weed-infused gummy bears in your favorite flavors (and dosages)? I didn’t think so.
Let’s make some candy.
For True DIYers
You can make gummy bears with a purchased tincture or cannabis-infused coconut oil; it’s easier and faster. For many stoners, though (oh, did we say stoners? we meant gourmets), preparing the tincture or oil is half the fun. And if you’re using quality flower, it should produce stronger candy while giving you full control over the dosage.
If you’re using dispensary-bought ingredients, just skip to the next section.
Decarbing Herb and Making Pot Tincture
The first step is to take your weed and decarboxylate it (usually referred to as “decarbing”). This, if you’re new to the DIY stuff, simply means you use heat to “activate” the THC that’s in the flower. Otherwise, it has no psychoactive effect.
The simplest way to decarb herb is to crumble it into small grains (don’t grind it finely), put it on top of crumpled aluminum foil spread out on an oven sheet, put more crumpled foil on top, and bake at 225° for 40-50 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn. Then let the pan and pot cool for half an hour. That’s it! Now, you’re ready to make your tincture.
There’s a time-honored method of making tincture called the “Green Dragon” method. It works great but requires the tincture to sit for a long period of time before you can use it, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Most people don’t plan that far ahead, so thankfully you can short-circuit the process.
Grind one ounce of the decarbed weed finely, and put it into a glass jar (like a mason jar) that has a cover that can screw on tightly. Add 10 ounces of high-proof alcohol to the jar – Everclear is by far the best choice if you can get it. Close the jar tightly and shake it vigorously for 15-30 minutes, until the cannabis starts to turn a darker green. Strain it through a tight mesh strainer, and you’re done. (If you’re not in a hurry, the Green Dragon method has you store the jar in a dark place for months, shaking it once a day; the tincture will turn deep green and will be a little more potent when it’s finally ready.)
Your candy will taste better if you make it with hash oil, but many people don’t want to go that route because you have to boil tincture on a stove. It’s a smelly process and it’s touchy if you have an electric range, dangerous if you have a gas stove. There are great machines which will do it for you, but they cost hundreds of dollars. If you want to go the hash oil route, there are plenty of detailed instructions online.
Making Your Cannabis-Infused Gummy Bears
Before starting, you’ll need food-grade gummy bear molds made from silicone. They’re available in a large assortment of sizes and candy shapes and can be found at kitchen stores or on Amazon.
- 1⁄4 cup of your favorite fruit juice (citrus juice not recommended, fruit puree can be substituted)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5⁄8 ounces unflavored gelatin
- 3 ounces of your favorite flavored gelatin (red flavors like cherry or raspberry work great)
- 1⁄4 cup cannabis tincture (½ cup for stronger potency, but it’s best to start slow here)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla or another flavored extract
- Mix the fruit juice and honey well. Combine the two gelatins well in a separate bowl, and then add the juice/honey mixture. Whisk until mixed thoroughly. Set aside.
- Cook tincture on low heat in a non-stick pot, stirring, until thick. Add the vanilla extract and repeat the process, stirring until thick. Add the gelatin/juice/honey mixture to the pot, stir, and cook on medium-low heat for ten minutes or until all gelatin is fully dissolved.
- Pour the mixture into your gummy bear mold, using a dropper or measuring cup. Refrigerate the mold (and the candy in it) for one hour.
Your gummy bears are ready! They should last a few months in the fridge or a year in the freezer (be sure to store them in freezer bags).
If you’re using hash oil, substitute 5-15 drops of oil for the tincture. If you’re using store-bought cannabis-infused oil (coconut oil is best), substitute ¼ to ½ cup of oil and ½ cup of cold water for the juice, honey, and tincture.
There’s one important thing to remember about these gummy bears (or edibles of any type). Unlike recipes for baked goods, recipes for weed candy and other edibles are “suggestions” rather than hard-and-fast “instructions” – because the correct dosage depends completely on your desires and your tolerance.
It’s best to use less tincture or oil to start until you see how the candy affects you. You can always make another batch with more potency the next time. Also, as with any edible, start slowly; the high can take a while to come on, so be patient. You may want to eat just one gummy and wait a couple of hours, to see how it affects you. (Having regular candy on hand may be a life-saver if you get the munchies but aren’t sure if the candy has fully kicked in yet.)
Finally, as with any edible, make sure these gummy bears are kept safely away from the kids at all times.