Marijuana candies come in all colors, shapes and sizes, from gummies to lollipops to mints. Eating cannabis candies can be a tasty, and more potent, alternative to smoking marijuana. Yet store bought candies can be expensive – one reason you might want to explore making them in the comfort of your own home. Eating marijuana candies also offers a discrete cannabinoid delivery system especially useful for those who live in apartments where smoking is not permitted. It’s also nice for those who want to take their cannabis with a sweet treat.
This article sets you up with two recipes for cannabis candies, as well as an understanding of the differences in experiences between eating and smoking weed.
Why Marijuana Candies?
There are many reasons people turn to cannabis candies as an alternative to smoking or vaping. For one thing, eating candies does not require inhaling charred plant matter into the lungs, which can cause dry mouth, throat irritation and chronic health issues over the long term.
As a type of marijuana edible, cannabis candies can produce a more potent “high” than just smoking. This is due to the way the body processes marijuana when it’s eaten. By the time THC reaches your stomach and then liver, your digestive processes convert it into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a more potent version of the cannabinoid.
Demand for cannabis candies appears to be growing. One report estimated the size of the total cannabis edibles market – including candy, beverages and chocolate – to reach more than $4B USD by the year 2022.
How To Make Marijuana Candy
Making candy can be a bit intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before. However the recipes below are simple, with only a few ingredients, to help ease beginners into the process. The results are delicious.
How To Make Marijuana Lollipops
The key to successfully creating hard candy is making sure you get the temperature right. Heating candy to what’s known as the “hard crack” stage will give your lollipop the structure it needs. For best results, you will need a candy thermometer.
Also be prepared: making weed lollipops can be a messy process. Consider covering your work area with parchment paper.
- 2-3 tbsp of cannabis tincture
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cut filtered water
- 1 tsp orange or lemon flavoring
- Candy thermometer
- Candy molds – look for silicon molds for ease of removing finished candy
- Lollipop sticks
- Over medium-high heat, combine sugar, corn syrup and filtered water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Bring the mixture to a boil. When boiling, do not stir and insert the candy thermometer.
- When the thermometer reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit, immediately remove from heat. Do not remove the thermometer.
- Wait until the mixture cools down to 250 degrees Fahrenheit, stir in the lemon or orange flavoring and the cannabis tincture.
- Pour the mixture into the candy molds.
- Allow the mixture to cool completely, which will take 20 minutes or more.
- Enjoy, or store in an airtight container.
How To Make Marijuana Gummies
THC gummies are a popular choice for consuming weed, in part because they are easy and quick to make. And who doesn’t love the cute shape of happy-looking gummy bears? The secret ingredient to making good gummies is stirring – be prepared to stir for about 15 minutes straight with this recipe. But all the elbow grease will be worth it.
- ½ cup cannabis oil
- ½ cup cold water
- 85 grams of flavoured gelatine
- 2 tbsp unflavored gelatine (for a vegan version, try using agar agar and food flavoring instead).
- ½ teaspoon soy lecithin (optional)
- Gummy bear moulds
- Dropper (this usually comes with many gummy bear moulds)
- Over low heat, combine water, cannabis oil and soy lecithin (if using) into a saucepan. Stir until the coconut oil has entirely melted, and the mixture has a consistent texture.
- Add gelatin or agar agar and food flavoring.
- Whisk continuously for about 15 minutes, ensuring the gelatin has completely dissolved. Make sure the mixture does not come to a boil at any point.
- Keeping the pot over low heat, begin filling up the gummy bear moulds with the dropper. Work as quickly as you can, ensuring the mixture doesn’t cool off too much, since this can encourage separation of the mixture in the pot. Whisking throughout the process will also help prevent the mixture from hardening.
- Pop the moulds into the freezer for about half an hour.
- Remove from freezer and place a gummy into your mouth. Enjoy!
How To Be Safe Consuming Cannabis Candies
Anyone who’s had experience with edibles will probably have a story or two from when they ate way too much. (For yours truly, it was homemade brownies right before thanksgiving dinner – yikes!). Fortunately, eating too much cannabis comes with far lower risks than drugs such as alcohol. Still, caution is advised. It’s best to follow the old adage, “start low and go slow”: only eat a small amount to begin with, and wait at least an hour (or ideally after you begin feeling the effects) before consuming more.
THC and CBD
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant which are sought after for their mind-altering or potential medicinal effects. The two most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD.
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a psychoactive cannabinoid that provides users with the feeling of being “high”. THC interacts with the endocannabinoid system in human beings, and can evoke feelings of joy, increased appetite and enhancement of the senses. However, it’s possible to get too much of a good thing by overloading your system on THC. While experts tend to agree that the possibility of dying from a cannabis overdose is close to non-existent, the results can be unpleasant. Impaired judgement, confusion, anxiety, short-term memory loss and delusions are all potential symptoms of too much THC-infused candy.
Many users of CBD, or cannabidiol, consider it a medicine to alleviate various symptoms, from pain to inflammation, though the evidence supporting these claims is largely anecdotal. Unlike THC, however, CBD doesn’t get users high. This makes CBD overdose less of a problem than THC overdose. However in some people taking too much CBD has been found to cause diarrhea, changes in appetite and fatigue.
Read The Edible Label
It’s always a good idea to read the label of any cannabis candy product you purchase in order to understand the dosage each piece of candy will contain. For beginners, gummies containing approximately 5 mg of THC is a good dose to help you understand your tolerance and how edibles affect you.
However, a word of caution is necessary. With gummies and candies, it can be difficult to dose each candy with precisely the same dose – even for store-bought, trusted brands. Individual pieces of candy may contain more or less cannabinoid content than advertised on the package. This is why it’s important to always start low and go slow – and understand that no two experiences will ever be exactly the same.
Pros And Cons Of Cannabis Candies
There are pros and cons to consuming cannabis candies. However, the cons are mostly due to situations where too much THC is consumed, which can be uncomfortable. Below are some benefits and drawbacks to eating cannabis candies:
- The highs are longer lasting than smoking (anywhere from three to seven hours, or more)
- Highs tend to be stronger because of the different assimilation pathways when compared with smoking
- More discrete than smoking
- Doesn’t irritate throat
- You need to be prepared for a longer experience
- Effects may be too strong, for too long
- Anxiety or paranoia
- Nausea or vomiting
Cannabis candies are a tasty, fun and effective way to reap the effects of THC and CBD. Whether store-bought or homemade, marijuana candies can provide relief from pain or a fun night with friends – especially when used in moderation.