Cannabis gummy bears and gummy worms are carving out a place as one of the most enjoyable and popular ways to consume cannabis.
It’s easy to see why. Weed gummies are very easy to make and they provide the perfect little bite-sized and delicious way to dose. There’s also just something fun and a little mirthful about breaking out a tin of your very own cannabis gummies. Finally, even in some fully-legal adult use cannabis jurisdictions, gummy edibles are not legal for sale. In which case, you may have no choice but to make your own.
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Gummy bears and gummy worms were by your side when you were a kid, and now, with a little bit of THC you can easily rekindle your love of all things gummy.
Why make THC gummies?
Smoking is the most common way of getting consuming cannabis — and for good reason. It’s easy, fun, and more or less 100% of the time it works every time. But comparing smoking weed and eating edibles is like comparing water polo and synchronized swimming — they’re both played in a pool and both are good ways to waste the whole afternoon, but they’re still very different sports.
When you eat edibles, the high can be totally different from smoking. It’s an immersive experience that you can feel tingling across your whole body, creating a happy, giggly, often downright euphoric feeling that can have you glued to the couch or laughing at the screensaver on your TV for hours. Because they can take well over an hour to kick in and the high can last for a few hours, they may not be the most convenient everyday sort of high, but make no mistake — edibles can be well worth it.
Also, if you’re trying to avoid smoking but still want to get high, or you’d like a way to take your medicine without stinking up the house, edibles are a convenient treat that’s hard to beat.
Safety with gummies and other edibles
Most seasoned edibles consumers probably have a story that reads as follows: I ate the gummy and nothing happened so about an hour later I took more and then it all kicked in and uh….I need you to come pick me up.
Edibles can easily take about an hour and a half or more to kick in so patience is key. If you don’t feel anything after an hour, just kick back and wait. Your metabolism may be slower or perhaps you still had a full stomach when you ate the edible. Either way, when eating edibles, your best bet is to just start with a small dose or the typical amount you take, and then just be patient and wait. Note that the cannabis experience and effect different cannabinoids have on differs from person to person.
Another thing to keep in mind when making cannabis gummies is safety. To an unsuspecting child they’ll look and taste more or less just like regular gummy bears. To avoid a trip to the emergency room and a call from Child Protective Services, make sure to keep your weed gummies safely sealed and stashed away from any little ones in the house.
Both THC and CBD are fat-soluble, which means they need to be consumed in fat in order to be metabolized by the body. When making cannabis oil, the THC, CBD, and all types of other cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids are infused in the mix, which can then be broken down by the body.
The easiest way to make edibles is to have your own cannabis infusion on hand, and most THC gummy recipes call for using cannabis oil — specifically infused coconut oil — as their key ingredient.
Having your own batch of cannabis coconut oil on hand means you’re never more than a step away from making your own edibles. And luckily, infusing coconut oil with cannabis is probably easier than you think.
For this recipe, we’re suggesting using less cannabis than most cannabis oil recipes so that the gummies aren’t too strong, but feel free to change up the amount depending on your tolerance and the THC levels of your cannabis.
1. Decarboxylate some cannabis
The first, most essential step in making edibles (besides getting some weed) is to decarboxylate it. Decarboxylation refers to a process that activates the compounds in cannabis, and converts THCA into THC, allowing you to get high. The key ingredient is heat, and to decarboxylate your weed all you need is to grind some up and put it on some foil or a baking sheet in the oven for about 30-45 minutes at around 220-245°F (105-120°C). Just make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t get too hot.
Check out our step-by-step directions: How to decarboxylate cannabis
2. Mix it together on the stove
After you’ve decarboxylated about 3.5 grams of cannabis, heat a cup of coconut oil in a saucepan until it gets around 130-150°F (55-65°C). Add the marijuana, and simmer the mix together for about three hours or so, stirring frequently.
You can also use a double-boiler. Just put water in the bottom pan, add the coconut oil to the top section, stir in the cannabis and heat at 130-150°F (55-65°C) for about three hours. With a slow cooker, just combine the oil and the weed and cook on low, also for around three hours.
Whichever method you used, once you’re done simmering the oil and cannabis mix, strain the oil to remove the plant matter, and bottle it up somewhere safe. Keep in mind
Congratulations! You now have your own batch of cannabis-infused coconut oil that you can use for any occasion.
Recipe: How to make weed gummies
If you’ve never made weed gummies before, one word you’ll need to know is “emulsification.” Cannabis oil won’t naturally bond with water or with some of the melted ingredients in gummies, which can mean you’ll have a separate layer of cannabis oil in your gummies, or gummies that just don’t have the right consistency. An emulsifier like soy or sunflower lecithin will solve this issue, allowing the whole mix to combine uniformly in that wonderful gummy consistency you’re looking for.
Most weed gummy recipes call for using cannabis oil, though some recommend using tinctures or other extracts. We’re going to stick with cannabis oil because it’s easy to work with and easier to make. Another way to emulsify ingredients is to puree the mixture in a quality blender with high RPMs. Agitating the mixture at high speeds will emulsify ingredients, while creating a homogenous mixture.
Remember that there is a potency tolerance on your homemade infusions and, without lab testing, cannot guarantee potency (the amount of cannabis in your infusions). In legal markets, we believe the safest way to infuse your edibles is to purchase your cannabis infusions (oils, tinctures, etc). Potency is known, ensuring the efficacy of your homemade cannabis-infused edibles.
Alternatively, here is the safest method for homemade cannabis infusions:
First things first, get your equipment together. You’re going to need a stove, a pot, a whisk, a dropper, a gummy bear mold (or worms, whichever shape you like), and a freezer.
The following recipe, adapted from one we love from the Cannaschool, is straightforward and perfect for using infused coconut oil:
- Add the water, cannabis-infused coconut oil, and sunflower/soy lecithin to the pot and place on the stove on low heat.
- Stir until the oil is completely melted and the mixture has a consistent texture. Add in the flavored and unflavored gelatin, stirring constantly.
- Keep on low heat for 10-15 min until the gelatin is dissolved, making sure to constantly whisk the mixture and make sure it does not come to a boil.
- Using a fine-mesh strainer, strain mixture to catch any lumps of undissolved gelatin and impurities.
- Use a dropper to fill the gummy molds one by one, and do so quickly so that the liquid doesn’t cool and begin to separate. Make sure to double back and stir the rest of the mixture frequently so it doesn’t harden.
- Once the mold is full, put the gummies in the freezer for 20-25 minutes.
Congratulations! You have now successfully made your own weed gummies. We recommend storing them in the refrigerator.
Potency: How many gummies should you eat?
How much cannabis you consume can depend on a number of factors including your experience with edibles, your tolerance, the strength of the cannabis you used, and the desired effect. Your best bet, especially with home-made edibles that may be less precise than the store-bought ones, is to start with a low dose, and take your time and see what happens.
It’s a smart idea to be cautious and try a half — or even a quarter — of a gummy the first time to get an idea of how strong your first batch is.
If you’re looking for a rough estimate of how strong the gummies will be, consider how strong the weed oil you used is. If you used 3.5 grams of cannabis that has 20% THC, then each teaspoon of oil will contain about 14mg of THC.
Doing some quick math, considering that this recipe calls for ½ cup of coconut oil, that’s 24 teaspoons of oil, and 24 teaspoons with 14mg each equals a total of 336mg THC for the whole batch of gummies. Considering that the recipe calls for 20 small-to-medium gummy bears, that’s 16.8mg of THC in each one. If you want them to be closer to 5mg each, find smaller molds and make 40 or more gummies.
Whatever colors or shapes you choose for your weed gummies, with a jar stashed away at the house you’ve got your own go-to edible for a winter night on the couch, or just to zonk out and watch the apocalypse roll by, wrapped in a sweet, gummy embrace. And as with all sweet edibles that look like candy, make sure to keep them out of reach of children.