Weed Gummies Guide: How to Choose, Use, and Store Them
This post is part of our Best Dispensaries in Arizona series, sponsored by Cannabist Tempe.
“Space cakes” were a wildly popular way to consume weed in the 70s and 80s in the United States, though cannabis-infused edibles were available long before the hippie era. Back then, dosages were somewhat unpredictable, and there was a high chance your deliciously frosted slice of paradise would send your mind and body out of this world, maybe even to outer space (hence the name). Since the space cake epidemic, however, scientists have learned to perfect potency, flavor, and texture, offering a whole new–and safer–world for those who prefer achieving an altered state by ingesting weed instead of smoking.
Weed gummies in San Diego and Tempe have become a common alternative to traditional edibles that come in various forms, offering a convenient way to get buzzed without consuming an overload of sugar. If you’re a fan of Sour Patch Kids, gummy worms, peach rings, or gummy bears, and are interested in the crossbreed of these beloved gummy candies and cannabis, you’re in the right place. Follow along with our comprehensive weed gummy guide to becoming a marijuana gummy expert in no time! We’ll even teach you how to make THC gummies at home, and where you might find them at your local dispensary.
Table of Contents
How are Weed Gummies Made?
The production process of edible gummy weed is relatively straightforward, considering you’ll only need a few ingredients. You’re essentially making regular, gelatin-based gummies–with a twist. Aside from the THC product, such as cannabis-infused oil or butter–which is the main component in weed gummies–you’ll need gelatin, flavored drops or juice, water, soy lecithin, and a gummy mold.
The main part of the process of making euphoric weed gummies is decarbonization. During this stage, you’ll essentially heat the cannabis in order to activate its compounds. Heating releases the CO2 and converts THCA and CBDA into THC and CBD. This is required in order to feel the psychoactive properties. Think about it–when you are smoking, this is achieved by burning the bud. With vaping, it is achieved by heating the bud. Once decarbed, you’ll infuse your heated cannabis product into canna-butter or canna-oil, to be blended with your gelatin mixture. After they are placed in the molds, the heavy lifting is done. Once cooled, chilled, and perhaps coated in a sugary or sour layer, the tasty gummies are ready to be packaged, sealed and distributed.
Note: if you don’t heat your weed before combining it with your gelatin concoction, you won’t have activated cannabinoids in their gummies–in other words, you won’t feel its effects, or the sensation of being high. This is why decarbing weed is vital! In its natural state, cannabis flower only has acidic cannabinoids like THC-A and CBD-A.
One thing to mention is that if you are vegan, weed gummies bought at the dispensary might contain gelatin from cows or pigs. If you want to stay true to your dietary preferences, you might consider making weed gummies at home.
How to Make Weed Gummies at Home
Whether you’re an avid gummy bear maker with an itching to turn regular gummies into edibles, or simply want to take a stab at DIY marijuana gummies in order to customize flavors and dosages, the recipe is remarkably easy to follow! Run to the store and select your favorite gummy molds–gummy bears are a classic choice–and throw some gelatin and soy lecithin in your cart. We’ll let you decide whether to go the flavored or unflavored route for gelatin. You can also get flavor oils to add to the gelatin or juice to create flavor variations.
Next, you’ll need to acquire some cannabis. Either purchase premade cannabis oil or butter from your favorite local dispensary, or score some bud to make your own. Making your own cannabis oil or butter requires a few extra steps, but it’s not that complex. If you’re making your own, add butter, coconut oil, or another type of oil to your grocery list. As for equipment, the only real tools you need aside from the silicone molds are measuring spoons and cups, a spoon, and a pot to boil water. You can use a funnel if you want to get precise with it.
If you are making your own weed, preheat your oven to 220-240 Degrees Fahrenheit, grind up a precise measurement of cannabis as finely as possible and distribute it into a baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes–ensuring it doesn’t get too hot or burn–then remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Once decarbed, bring your butter or oil to a low heat, and add water. Once melted, add the decarboxylated weed, and mix well. You’ll let this simmer for 4 hours, stirring every half hour to ensure it isn’t burning. Once 4 hours is up, strain with a cheesecloth or strainer to remove the weed from the oil or butter. Then you may proceed to the next step.
In a pot, bring the water and cannabis infused oil to a medium heat, whisk and combine. After all the ingredients have melded together, you’ll increase the heat so the water boils, then add the gelatin and flavor drops. Add a small amount of soy lecithin if you need help emulsifying the gelatin mixture. This all will take place over a minute or two. After everything is combined and becomes thicker and thicker, it’s time to grab the molds. Pour the mixture into the gummy mold, then place in the fridge for 20-30 min. You can pop them out of their mold after an hour, or let them harden in the freezer for a while longer so the remaining moisture can evaporate.
Fun fact: you can make air-dried gummy varieties by placing your finished product in the oven! This will provide an improved texture and superior shelf life.
Beware, homemade weed gummies can and will mold, and there is always a risk of improper dose distribution. To ensure the proper dosage for your DIY recipe, you might want to try an edible dosage calculator that will help you properly infuse THC into your gummies. It will indicate how much oil, alcohol, or fat should be used depending on how much THC you’d like to use, as well as how many total mg will be in the final product per teaspoon.
How to Dose Weed Gummies
What dose is correct for you depends on how your body responds to THC. Factors determining this include your consumption habits, sex, weight, metabolism, overall diet, and, most importantly, your individual tolerance. If you are uncertain what dosage might suit you, start by taking a tiny nibble–2.5 mg. If you don’t feel much after 90 minutes, you can increase your dosage or wait a day before trying again.
A recommended serving size on a package label might state 10 mg THC gummy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean 10 mg suits you. Store-bought gummies can come in as little as 2.5 milligrams of THC to as much as 50 milligrams, and when you are making them at home, the THC content could be even higher, so pay close attention to the dose before ingesting. Do not eat more than the recommended dose unless you are an experienced expert and consume cannabis regularly. You can get very high–uncomfortably high even–and nobody wants that.
How to Store Weed Gummies
Gummy candies can be preserved from 6 months to a year if stored properly and in the right environmental conditions. They typically won’t spoil before the expiration date if kept at room temperature, sealed in an airtight, lightproof container, and out of direct sunlight or moisture. Silicone containers are suitable for short-term storage, though original packaging tends to be the most effective way to retain weed gummies.
For DIY gummies, storing them in the fridge will keep them fresh for a few weeks, while the freezer will offer a longer shelf life. If you put them in the freezer, take them out to defrost them slowly before consumption.
If you purchased your gummies from a dispensary, make sure they are not expired. If you’ve opted to make them from home, write down the date you made them and an expiration date of a few weeks out. Over time, your gummies might become tough, brittle, or lose flavor. Discoloration, mold, or moisture on the container indicate they have gone bad and might not be safe to consume anymore. Proceed at your own risk!
How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of Weed Gummies?
Chewable edibles work differently than oral cannabis products–such as throat lozenges or lollipops–because of how they enter your system. Sublingual cannabis products, placed under or on the tongue, absorb the THC through the mucus membranes in your mouth via your salivary glands, then venture directly into your bloodstream and enter the brain. Consuming chewable cannabis edibles–cookies or gummies–takes longer to get high. Before going into your bloodstream, they move through your digestive system and are then filtered through the liver. In the liver, the ingredients are processed before they are absorbed into the bloodstream and reach the brain. In other words, don’t hold your breath waiting to get high after you eat a gummy.
For comparison, by smoking cannabis, you’ll achieve a high almost instantly or within a few minutes. Gummies might take anywhere from a half hour to 90 minutes to kick in, with effects coming on gradually or suddenly. This time frame generally depends on potency–if the product contains a higher dose or concentration of THC, effects might have a quicker onset. Your metabolism, weight, tolerance, and diet can determine how and when you’ll feel the effects.
Putting this into consideration, understanding your proper dosage is essential. It can be challenging to fight the urge to take another nibble if the gummy hasn’t hit you after what seems like hours, but we implore you to slow your roll and have patience with the process; otherwise, you might end up in outer space.
The effects of weed gummies can last nearly 10–12 hours, with some lingering effects lasting a full day. Peak blood levels, where the high is most intense, occur 3-4 hours after consuming the edible. The duration of your high can certainly be unpredictable, especially if you are eating homemade edible gummies. Edibles can last 6–10 hours longer than smoking or vaping, so be cautious, as there is a higher chance of overdosing on edibles.
Signs of a THC overdose include chest pain, rapid heartbeat, nausea or even vomiting, intense paranoia, trouble breathing, anxiety, or panic attacks. You can’t reverse an overdose, but you can use breathing or relaxation techniques and staying hydrated to help. If you take too much and need someone to bring you back down to earth, you always have the option to call poison control.
Different Types of Weed Gummies
Uncertain how to decide which weed gummies to buy? Luckily weed gummies come in countless flavors, which helps mask the not-so-pleasant taste of earthy hemp-derived THC (although some prefer this over artificial sweeteners). Gummy types include Sativa, which is good for uplifting effects; Indica, which is excellent for rest and relaxation or even sleep because of its soothing properties; or a hybrid to feel mildly social, energetic yet also relaxed–the perfect crossover.
Aside from potency and strain, you can decide on a flavor. Are you sour, or are you sweet? You can select from sour variations, spicy sweet and sour combos such as mango chili lime edible gummies, or chocolate-covered weed gummies to bring you back to childhood. Who says eating candy is just for kids?
Among the best brands and products to try is Cannabist Tempe, which offers a delectable selection of weed gummies from your favorite brands such as Melonade Candies from Alien Labs and Blackberry Acai Gummies from Baked Bros. If you pop in to their brick and mortar, one of their knowledgable budtenders will help you select the best product for your desired high.
Now that you have the tools to create your THC-infused gummies at home, we recommend you try a few brands and flavors to get inspiration and direction on what you’d like to recreate at home. To avoid the risk of overconsumption or overdose, buying from reputable brands that indicate serving size and package dosage on the label is recommended. Remember that a little goes a long way–start small and work your way up to determine your tolerance.
Thank you for reading, and enjoy your high responsibility!
About the author: Courtney Pester is a San Diego based San Francisco bred millennial with a passion for design and self-expression. She prides herself in her charcuterie board making skills and has a soft spot for animals. When she’s not pumping out articles you can catch her playing tennis and enjoying the diversity of events and restaurants San Diego has to offer.