Most everyone loves a sweet gummy treat, and when it’s filled up with THC goodness it’s even harder to turn down. These delicious bits of cannabis candy can be a pricey purchase at the local dispensary, so why not try making your own at home?
There are a lot of recipes online that say they show you how to make cannabis gummy bears in the home kitchen but results can often be disappointing – Soft, jelly-like edibles that end up turning runny at room temperature or even melting out-right.
So what if you want to make cannabis gummies that have real store-bought quality? Turns out there’s a secret ingredient used by the pros in their weed gummy recipes that makes the difference between a snappy, chewy gummy and a soggy, weepy mess.
It’s time to break out your chef’s hat and arm yourself with your favorite whisk – We’re going to talk about the science of how to make cannabis infused gummies in your very own home.
What are Weed Gummies?
On the surface weed gummies look a lot like regular, non-THC gummy snacks, and the temptation can be to look up a regular gummy candy recipe and follow that, simply adding in a bit of concentrate as you go. To understand why that won’t work let’s discuss candy making for a moment.
Candy making is, at it’s most basic level, the act of taking sugar and cooking it until it melts; add nothing (or a bit of water) and the sugar turns into a brittle hard candy when it cools. Add gelatin and the sugar will set into a gelatinous or spongy form, resulting in gummies or marshmallows. Add an oil or fat, such as butter, and you get a chewy, soft caramel. And it’s right there where the problem comes in.
THC concentrate of any fashion is always an oil; even THCA diamonds and shatter, both of which are set and hardened, turn into an oil on applying heat. Once you add enough oil to your candy it will not set properly – Oil does not want to combine with the hard, crystalline candy structure, a process referred to as “emulsification”. Without proper emulsification you’ll get candy that’s runny, tacky to the touch, or weeps liquid; more on this in a moment.
Why Make Cannabis-Infused Gummies?
Just because lighting up is the classical way to consume your cannabis, that doesn’t mean it has to be the only option.
THC-infused edibles such as hard candies, chocolates, and gummies are an increasingly popular alternative to smoking cannabis due to the overall health benefits vs. inhaling smoke, as well as the different experience that an edibles high can bring.
Edibles also carry a vastly decreased odor, and can be overall easier on the body for those seeking to consume for medicinal reasons. Though cannabis-infused edibles don’t always work the same way for every consumer, they can be an interesting alternative for those seeking to move beyond the joint or bong.
Emulsification is Key
So how do they make the kind of stretchy, room temperature-safe THC gummies sold at the dispensary? Emulsification is the key element. To get the proper gummy-like texture the cannabis concentrate must be combined with another ingredient added to the candy mixture while it’s being cooked – In our case, lecithin (either soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin).
Without this emulsification agent added in the gummy snacks you’re going to make will likely be closer to a jello snack and require refrigeration; great if you’re looking for the marijuana version of a jello shot, not so much if you want a portable gummy snack.
By the way: We’ll be using the generic term “gummy bears” a lot through-out this article but whatever molds you have and want to use will work just fine – Gummy worms, gummy gems, gummy whatevers. There’s a wide world of gummies outside the bear and we encourage you to explore it!
Now, to make any THC edible you need to start with the basics, meaning a good concentrate. We’re going to outline a classic solution: Steeping your marijuana to make cannabis infused coconut oil.
Making an Infused Oil
If you already have a hash oil or other form of decarbed concentrate you can skip this step and we’ll meet you again in the next section (if it isn’t decarbed, check out our “
Both CBD and THC (and other cannabinoids) can be leeched from the appropriate plant material and into another medium (IE: oil). If you’re wanting to start 100% from scratch, and have nothing but some marijuana buds hanging around, you’ll need to know how to make an extract.
Most common for weed gummy recipes found on the internet is infusing your cannabis into coconut oil – Infused coconut oil works well because it maintains a solid form at room temperature, lending to the solidity of your gummy candy.
Certain types of coconut oil carry more flavor than others, so if looking for an infused oil that has a less prominent taste make sure to purchase “refined coconut oil” over other varieties; even then, expect a mild coconut-ish flavor and scent.
If you’re not a fan of the flavor of coconut oil other oils can and will work, including (but not limited to):
- Olive oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Animal fats
And other fashions of THC-bearing materials can be infused (such as making
Cannabis Coconut Oil
We talk about this at length in our decarbing article mentioned above so if you’re unfamiliar with the term or just need a refresher, head there first before moving on to the next step.
Once your cannabis has been decarbed it’s time to begin the infusion. You’ll need the following:
- A double boiler
- 1 cup ground, decarbed marijuana
- 1 cup
For those unfamiliar, a double boiler is a method of cooking that allows for indirect heat – Water is placed into one pot, which is then placed on the stove, and a second pot is placed on top of the now-hot water. Dedicated double boilers can be bought but the function is easily replicated at home using a regular pot and a heat-proof bowl (such as Pyrex).
Fill the bottom of your double boiler with water and set it onto your stove at medium-low heat. Make a sachet by placing your cannabis into the cheesecloth and tie securely with twine, placing both the coconut oil and sachet in the top section of your double boiler.
Alternatively, you can just put the cannabis straight into the oil and then strain it with cheesecloth (visualized below). We recommend letting your cannabis sachet steep in the oil for a good six to eight hours to extract as much of the THC and cannabinoids as possible.
After your steep, remove the sachet and voilà, you are done. At this point you can squeeze your sachet out if you’d like to wring away as much oil as possible but be aware that doing so will leech out additional chlorophyll and flavonoids into your infusion, giving the end gummy mixture a green color and taste you may not want.
Now that you have your infused coconut oil it’s time to turn it into your cannabis infused gummy bears, and for that we have a couple of different recipes. Let’s take one last detour first, though, and talk about our emulsification agent, what it is, and a bit more on why it’s so important.
We’ve got pictures and more details in our full recipe on
Do You Need to Add Lecithin to Your Gummies?
In short, yes. Lecithin (an
Sold in either a
Soy lecithin and its relatives are easy to find these days, either online, at a health food store, or at your local big box retailer (check in the cooking oil section), but know that lecithin can be made from many different sources, including animal byproducts; while this recipe isn’t designed to be vegan (we’ll talk more about that later) it’s always good to know where your ingredients are coming from.
Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way let’s go over some recipe details. We’re going to do this in two parts: First we have a simple, easy, no frills recipe, and then we’ll go over some additional steps & ingredients that can help you tweak these cannabis gummy bears to the taste and texture you prefer.
Our Simple Weed Gummies Recipe
- Yield: 20-50, depending on mold size
- Prep time: 10-15m
- Cook time: 5-15m
This recipe is fairly standard and includes a pre-flavored packaged gelatin (again, think Jell-O) along with additional unflavored gelatin to help the gummy bears set. Here’s the tools and ingredients you’ll need to get started:
- Pouring Device: A kitchen syringe, measuring cup with spout, or sturdy zip-top sandwich bag
- Non-Stick Cooking Spray
- Pre-Packaged Gelatin Dessert (IE: Jell-O): One 3oz package, flavor of your choice
- Water: 1/2 cup, cold
- Corn Syrup: 1/4th cup
- Cannabis Infused Coconut Oil: 1/4th cup
1. Prepare the Gelatin
If using powdered gelatin, sprinkle this and the jello on top of your water, letting it bloom for a minimum of five minutes; if using sheets, soak these in the water for about 10 minutes. It should soak up the water and be quite gritty/granular.
2. Combine Your Gelatin With Corn Syrup & Water and Heat on Low
Once your gelatin is ready combine it (including the water) and your corn syrup in a sauce pan, letting this mixture reach a bare simmer over medium-low heat.
Whisk gently but constantly as it heats up, making sure to NOT let your gelatin boil – boiling can prevent it from setting. If you notice a white foam forming at the top, skim this off and reduce your heat slightly.
3. Remove the Combined Gelatin Mixture, Let It Cool, & Add Your Oil
The mixture should slowly become smoother and lose that gritty texture from before. After your mixture has completely melted and combined, remove from the heat and let cool.
Now add in both your cannabis infused oil and lecithin before stirring to combine. While the oil naturally wants to stay separated from the gelatin and water mixture, the lecithin emulsifies it to a perfectly smooth consistency.
4. Prepare Your Gummy Molds
Prepare the molds for your gummy bears by spraying them thoroughly with cooking spray; we recommend additionally setting the molds onto parchment-paper lined baking trays, to make them easier to remove later.
5. Transfer Your Gummy Mix Into a Piping Bag or Syringe
After your molds have been sprayed, transfer the cannabis gummy mixture to a fine mesh sieve, working it through with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to remove any remaining undissolved lumps of gelatin.
From here spoon your mixture into either your spouted container or your kitchen syringe – In a pinch you can use a plastic sandwich bag, pouring in your mixture and cutting off one of the edges to create a makeshift piping bag.
6. Fill Your Molds & Refrigerate Them
Now begin filling your molds. If things like messy edges bother you a bench scraper or other flat object can be used to go over the surface of the mold and scrape away excess that spilled over.
Once filled, transfer your gummy molds to the refrigerator for a minimum of one hour; do not use the freezer, as the extreme cold can also keep your gelatin from setting.
7. Remove Your Weed Gummies From the Mold
After spending time in the refrigerator remove your cannabis gummies and de-mold – Your gummy bears should be firm to the touch but still slightly tacky.
Lay the gummies out onto a piece of parchment paper and let them air dry, preferably somewhere with good air circulation such as in front of a fan. How long this will take depends entirely on your location, humidity, ambient temperature, and a lot of other factors.
Note: Mold can be an issue with this recipe so make sure they’re thoroughly dried before
And while this recipe will get you some perfectly serviceable weed gummies, what if you want to try getting a little fancier? Here’s a few ways to tweak our recipe above to make it a bit more professional and personalized.
Professional Weed Gummy Secrets & Hacks
Again, what we provide above is a basic recipe but lacks some finesse, and can be hard to flavor thanks to the inclusion of the pre-flavored Jell-O. Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your weed gummies.
Will Making a Test Batch Work?
A natural conclusion might be to make a test batch of gummies first, to make sure you have your process and procedure down pat before wasting any infused oils or concentrates. But, as mentioned, it’s the cannabinoids themselves that make making gummies tricky.
While making a test batch of “regular” gummies is a great idea, just to get used to the process of making gummy snacks, there’s no substitute for working with the full recipe.
Air Drying Gummies For Better Texture
We discuss the importance of air drying in our recipe above, but there are alternatives to a simple fan. Many professional kitchens will use non-thermal dehydrators, with home versions available for purchase online.
The more thoroughly dry your gummies are, the better the overall texture will be. However, and we cannot stress this enough, both light and air exposure are killers of cannabinoids, so try not to let your gummies stay unwrapped for too long – 12 to 24 hours should be more than enough.
Forego the Jell-O
Jell-O comes with various flavoring and preservative agents included which can help increase your gummy bear shelf life but can make it difficult to flavor like you want. Replacing the jello is simple and can be done by simply increasing your gelatin; up your recipe to 4.5 tablespoons of gelatin or add an additional 6 sheets.
Remember, Jell-O comes packaged with sugar – About 5.5 tablespoons should do, added into the corn syrup before simmering. Jell-O also contains flavoring agents and citric acids, bringing us to…
Make Your Own Flavor
If not using the pre-packaged gelatin mix you’ll want to add in some flavorings of your own. Any flavoring oil used for making hard candy (such as LorAnn’s brand) will work just fine here, though the amount will depend entirely on how large a batch of gummy bears you’re planning on making and just how much flavor you want to shine through.
We recommend starting with half a dram for our recipe above and adding more to taste; just remember, the gummies are competing for flavor space against the cannabis infused coconut oil, so a heavy hand might serve you well.
Sweet or Sour
If you’d prefer your cannabis infused gummy bears to have a little kick you’ll want to add some acid (no, not the “flashbacks to Burning Man” kind). Citric and malic acid are chemicals naturally found in fruits that give them their tart zest – Citric acid for, unsurprisingly, citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, and malic acid for fruits such as strawberries, peaches or cherries.
A teaspoon of malic or citric acid to your gummies can definitely zest them up; just be careful, as too much citric acid can lead to weeping. We recommend adding your acid in after the mixture has cooled, just before piping/pouring into your molds.
After your air drying period, a quick roll in granulated sugar can add both additional sweetness and a textural kick to the end product (and can even be used to increase the dose, if one has a recipe for cannabis-infused sugar at hand). Just make sure to do this after the gummy has fully dried, otherwise the sugar will simply be absorbed into the candy (or worse, leave behind a sticky, runny mess).
Up the Shelf Life
We also recommend giving your dried gummies a dusting in either powdered sugar or corn starch, both of which will help prevent clumping and sticking together. You can
If looking to maximize your gummy’s lifespan, freezing can be an option, but only if your gummies are sealed air-tight. The combination of cold temperatures and air movement will wick away precious cannabinoids, leaving your edibles with a greatly reduced potency. If you have access to a vacuum sealer, though, freezing can be a way to increase your gummies overall shelf life from weeks to months (or even years).
A note on lemon juice: Many recipes online will call for lemon juice as a method of preventing mold, however this can be misleading.
The amount of ascorbic acid (IE: the mold-killing agent in most citrus fruits) present in the lemon juice called for in most recipes is not enough to provide sufficient mold prevention, and can even promote mold growth due to the organic material included in the juice. Our recommendation? Stick to what the professionals use, and pick up some potassium sorbate.
Can I Make Vegan Weed Gummies?
Making vegan weed gummy bears isn’t particularly easy, but can be accomplished by replacing your gelatin with agar agar at a 1:1 ratio (you may need to play around with this blend depending on the strength of your agar powder).
Also consider replacing at least part of your water with a non-citrus fruit juice, such as apple, or mashed/pureed fruit such as strawberries or blueberries – The additional pectin will help ensure your end gummies set firm (and taste good to boot). This is similar to traditional recipes for pâte de fruit, which also works very well for making cannabis gummies.
Can I Make My Gummies Sugar Free?
For our above recipe, simply replacing the standard package of flavored gelatin with a sugar-free version of the same brand will work just fine for making sugar-free weed gummies.
If not using Jell-O, sugar-free flavoring agents like sugar-free Kool Aid or Crystal Light drink powder can be used for flavor, just make sure to dissolve them well prior to adding to your mixture.
Can I Make My Gummies With CBD or Delta-8?
Literally any cannabis concentrate, including popular
What If I Don’t Have Time to Make Gummies?
Not everyone has the time or ability to make gummies at home; the equipment required for decarbing, the smell produced when infusing – there are plenty of reasons to seek out non-DIY options.
If looking for a weed gummy you don’t have to cook yourself, make sure to check out our list of what we think are the
Weed Gummy Potency & Safe Consumption
When it comes to safe consumption, knowing how much you’re consuming is a key factor in making sure you don’t have an uncomfortable experience. Unfortunately, judging the
While pre-purchased concentrates, such as shatter or THC oils, are typically labeled with a fairly accurate THC percentage on their packaging, homemade infusions from raw cannabis can be near impossible to estimate.
Even though many dispensaries list an average THC percentage on sold flower, the actual amount of cannabinoids contained within can vary from bud to bud. Additionally, the process of decarbing can (and often will) decrease available cannabinoid content as the buds begin to decarboxylate.
On top of all that, the sheer act of transferring materials for cooking and infusing from one container to another can lead to lost product, making an accurate potency on home made edibles very difficult to accurately know.
All of that said, in general, going with the amount of THC listed on your infusing medium is a “close enough” number – in actuality your product will likely have less THC than this, but that is unfortunately simply a price that must be paid.
Also worth noting: Cannabis edibles do not have the same fast-acting effects as smoking or vaporizing weed, and
Make sure to give your edible a good 45 minutes to 2 hours to kick in (particularly if having recently eaten) before trying another dose, as a cannabis
Making cannabis infused gummy bears and other gummy snacks at home isn’t that difficult at all, and we hope our guide has given you a good starting point on making tasty gummy treats right in your own kitchen.
Remember, gummies are just one of many ways that cannabis can be infused into a variety of foods. We have recipes and guides for
If interested in any of the above and other creative ways to use your THC in your diet (plus many more), make sure to check out our