A Helpful Woman's Guide to Upgrading Your Entire Life With Homemade Marijuana Gummi Bears

A Helpful Woman
Illustration: Jim Cooke / GMG

I was like you once: eating a single bite of food with pot in it and freaking right the fuck out. The first time I had a pot brownie, I did what any sensible 15-year-old might: I decided they weren’t working, ate half the pan, waited two hours, then watched the entire room flip onto its side and felt the sensation drain from my jelly-legs. Two friends had to walk me to the bathroom for the remainder of the night, and another practically fireman-carried me home. Then there was the incident in college where I got off the bus 45 minutes early to walk a long way in the dark because a green-tinted cookie didn’t agree with me. There were, maybe, several of those incidents.

But now, I am enlightened. Let me bring you with me. Let me show you how to make marijuana gummi bears.


This might sound like a ridiculous thing to do. Pot food does not seem to agree with most people, unless you’re treating a chronic illness or have the THC tolerance of a blissed-out horse in a pulsating field. Why mess with it? Why not smoke a simple joint instead of spending several hours in the kitchen, straining fruit and making tinctures like a stoned Mennonite?

That language is quitter’s talk, and we won’t have it here. Instead, we’re going to rally, we’re going to get determined, and we’re going to remember that gummi bears are very small. That means it’s far, far harder to OD on them and end up with your nose pressed into the couch cushions, crying because you spent the night watching nature documentaries and thinking about the innate frailty of human existence and being unable to see out of your left eye. We’re not pulling a Dowd here. That’s not us. We’re better than that.

Also, and for reasons that are hard to fully explain, pot gummi bears are different than other kinds of edibles. Especially when made with a sativa strain (bright, energetic, stimulating) rather than indica one (sleepy or deeply relaxed for some people, paranoid and lashed to my couch like a frantic sailor on a deflating dinghy for me), weed gummis tend to produce a happier, more focused high. The photos on my desk start looking sparkly and interesting. I’m mindful of my breathing in a nice way. Writing starts to seem like something mildly enjoyable instead of like flaying my internal organs with a cheese grater. It’s a good, productive work drug, and why are we here if not to produce capital every day until we die?

The first thing you’ll need to embark on a gummi journey of your own is a tincture, and Gizmodo happens to have published the best and clearest directions to making one of those a few years back. It would be good if you had a kitchen scale and tincture bottles with eyedroppers and all that other stuff, but really? All you need is coffee filters, Everclear or a similarly high-proofed alcohol, and some weed. I used some sad shake that had been abandoned on a bookcase for several weeks and just kind of eyeballed it. You’re a lady MacGyver, you’re resourceful and possessed of innate good judgment, and, anyway, making weed gummi bears is pretty low stakes stuff, considering the imminent threat of global nuclear war we’re contending with on a weekly basis.


As the Giz recipe lays out, you’re basically going to grind your weed, then bake it a little bit. (I used the toaster oven, because who can be bothered to preheat anything)? Next, you’re going to submerge your toasty weed in your Everclear/bathtub moonshine/what have you. You’re going to let it sit for two hours in a cool, dark place while you clean the house or pack a lunch for the following day or straighten up your room. You’re an adult. You’re clean and orderly and crafty enough to make weed gummi bears, and you should feel great about that. (In my case, I played a mystifying card game that made me feel pre-stoned.) Then you’re going to strain the alcohol-soaked weed through a coffee filter, and that’s your tincture: a green-tinted liquid that you’re going to label extremely carefully when it goes into the refrigerator.

I still had some cannabis tincture left over from the last time I gummi-beared. It was a few weeks old. It seemed fine. That means I simply needed my gummi recipe, and an adorable mold. You will also need a mold, which means you should get on Amazon and order one now, while we’re sitting here together, contemplating fixing our lives. I got skulls, for a multitude of personal reasons, but you can go classic bear or tiny heart or these slightly alarming emoji deals. Just search “candy mold” or “silicone mold” and go nuts. I suppose you could even get a pot leaf shape if you really want to make sure you don’t confuse your regular gummis with your enhanced ones. (This is my stern and probably unnecessary reminder to keep pot food clearly labeled and in a place where children and animals can’t reach it.)


The best weed gummi bear recipe, as my grandmother used to say in my most hallucinatory fever dreams, is the simplest one. I go with the Wake and Bake Cookbook recipe, which you’ll find at the bottom of a long and helpful disquisition on pot food and micro-dosing. The recipe is also apparently paleo, if you care about that.


“I love making low-dose edibles so I can eat enough weed food to feel full and satisfied without feeling like I could have a meaningful conversation with a dolphin,” the author notes. Same.

As you’ll see, the recipe mostly calls for things you might have around: pureed fruit, water, lemon juice, and honey or maple syrup. I mixed raspberries and strawberries, because I am, candidly, fancy as hell. You’ll also need plain gelatin, which you can get in the baking section. Our Wake and Bake author recommends the grass-fed kind. She’s probably right, although I try to think as little as possible about what goes into gelatin.


From there, your sailing is smooth: Combine your food ingredients over low heat, add your tincture, add your gelatin, then fill your molds. Wake and Bake recommends using a dropper; I will also attest that you can use a wonton spoon or a straw and just try not to slop stuff around. As I said: we all might be dead soon. Use whatever you have on hand.


Our Wake and Baker says the gummis need about 15 minutes in the fridge or five in the freezer. That has not been my experience; typically, only a solid, like, 40 minutes in the freezer lets them come out of the mold cleanly. Possibly I have a shitty freezer.


Now, sometime in the future, it is at last time to eat these suckers. You know what I’m going to say, but here it is anyway: Start small. Start so small. Eat one gummi leg, a single leaf-tip of a pot plant, the smirk off an emoji. Wait. Reflect. Wait longer. Then, if you decide it’s a good idea, eat more.


We reach the end of our gummi journey where we began it: Still fucked. The world is plummeting into chaos. We’re governed by an aging, addled, racist shut-in, and our only hope for survival as a species is if world leaders elect to ignore his tweets. But marijuana gummi bears are a tiny bright spot on the blotchy, gasping face of humanity. Let’s ingest what little joys we can find.

Happy 4/20.

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