The Must Have Ingredient for Gummies: Beeswax

Matt Weeks March 13, 2019 18 comments

Give your CBD gummies the beeswax treatment for longer shelf life and reduced stickiness.

Cannabis gummies have become the standard bearer for store bought edibles. It’s the first thing people imagine when they think of cannabis treats, and for good reason. Cannabis gummies are colorful, delicious, and, amazingly easy to make at home. But there’s one ingredient that often gets left out of CBD gummies. In doing so, you could nearly ruin this delightful treat.

That ingredient? Beeswax.

Beeswax has many benefits and functions, including lowering cholesterol, relieving pain, managing ulcers, and more. While those are all good reasons to add it to your cannabis gummy bears, its primary use in this particular food may be to function like a Ziploc bag. Beeswax keeps your candies fresh and tasty for a longer period of time. In the same way that CBD gummies can keep your body healthy, beeswax keeps your goodies fresh and safe for consumption.

gummies held in man\'s hand

If you don’t know, beeswax is the substance that actually forms the structure of the honeycomb, where the bees store their sticky, sweet concoction. Like honey, it’s made by the worker bees, who use special wax glands in their abdomens to construct the substance. In its purest form, beeswax is white, but gains a yellowish hue when it’s exposed to pollen and honey.

The Long and Secret History of Beeswax

Beeswax has a storied history in the foods we eat — not just cannabis gummy bears. It’s been in use for thousands of year as an additive and its powers are no less relevant now than they were in ancient Egypt.

Preindustrial societies quickly recognized the myriad uses of beeswax, which was used in both construction (as a sealant) and for its medicinal properties (beeswax is a strong anti-microbial agent). The ancient Greeks and Romans used beeswax in cooling ointments. Similarly, first-century Chinese healers believed that beeswax had properties that enhanced the blood and energy systems within the body.

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It has even become fashionable among today’s chefs, who seemingly can’t get enough of the flavor, texture, and ability to trap in moisture (helping to make delicate pastries extra crispy). 

Candy makers, too, have long known the benefits of adding a little buzzy goodness to their confections. Haribo, the standard bearer in gummy bear mass production, has included beeswax as an ingredient since its founding.

Beyond adding a protective layer to your CBD gummies, beeswax has other benefits as well.

Just like the honey it is created to store, beeswax is characterized by myriad therapeutic properties, including healing bruises, inflammation, and burns.

Beeswax in CBD Gummies

Beeswax isn’t a one-size-fits-all product.  The price per pound depends on how refined it is, its origins, and how nutrient content. As with almost any natural product, the best stuff usually comes from local, organic producers. The kind of beekeepers who practice sustainable farming and hang around farmers’ markets usually have plenty of rich beeswax to unload.

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But if you’re not lucky enough to find any local apiaries, don’t fret. The internet has made smart shoppers of us all. High-quality, straight-off-the-farm beeswax costs anywhere from $5 to $15 per pound. It’s readily available from an array of respectable websites.

While you can purchase medical- and food-grade beeswax for less, the mass-produced stuff is usually inferior. High-quality wax is the best choice for cannabis gummy bears. But really any kind of wax that isn’t loaded with insecticides or pollutions should do just fine. If you’re concerned about quality, stick to certified organic wax.

Adding Beeswax to CBD Gummies

Being naturally malleable and with a melting point of 64 degrees Celsius (145F) beeswax is easy to use in the kitchen. If you want to add it to your next cannabis gummy bear batch, simply drop in two tablespoons of beeswax just before you pour your mixture into the molds. Each mold should also get two tablespoons poured in before you pour the gummies. Beeswax will add a shiny coat to your cannabis gummy bears. Protection with pizazz!

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Beeswax can also make the final product a bit easier to handle, thanks to the rigidity inherent in beeswax. Sometimes, CBD gummies can be a little too sticky for their own good and can make it tough to manage the mixture. Beeswax helps with that problem, adding a harder internal consistency that should reduce the stickiness and formlessness of your cannabis gummy bears.

Enjoy!

Editor’s Note

In answer to some of the reader questions, please review the following:

Where can I get food grade beeswax?

Beeswax is considered safe for human consumption. When looking for beeswax, you should know what the color differences mean. Pure and unbleached wax is ivory in color. If the beeswax is yellow, that means that it has been heated and filtered to remove debris that may have collected in the hive. The best place to buy beeswax is from a beekeeper or farmer’s market. But, you can also buy ‘food grade’ pellets through online sources.

Does the beeswax go right into the mixture?

There are two ways to take advantage of the properties of beeswax when making gummies. One, definitely line your mold trays with melted beeswax. This will help with setting and getting them out. Additionally, the beeswax coating improves shelf life and helps the gummy retain flavor. Second, you can add beeswax to the recipe directly. This will help the gummies form, retain shape, and increase shelf life.

How much beeswax should I add to my recipe?

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of melted beeswax to the prepared gummies right before you poor. There are so many really great recipes out there, including this one from a Rxleaf cooker – so you don’t have to modify your favorite recipe in any way. The beeswax is an additional ingredient that hardens on its own and is added in such small quantities that it won’t dilute your dosing.

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Author avatar

Matt Weeks

A writer living and working in Athens, GA, Matt's work has appeared in various newspapers, books, magazines and online publications over the last 15 years. When he's not writing, he hosts bar trivia, plays in local bands, and makes a mean guacamole. He holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master's degree in organizational theory. His favorite movie is "Fletch."

18 comments

  1. That’s interesting! I will make sure to add some beeswax to my CBD. Thanks for sharing this awesome idea!

  2. Bart Dluhy

    You say add a couple of tablespoons of the beeswax, but to how much gummy mixture? Also, it looks like wax is used to coat candies, such as haribo, but I can’t find any recipes where the wax is added to the candy mixture.

  3. Joe

    So, when are you going to “revisit to include specific measurements”?

  4. I have the same question that a couple of tablespoons of the beeswax in how much gummy mixture? Thank you.
    Jing

  5. Cw

    I was always told to coat them with a mixture carnauba wax and bees wax and tumble them in a confectionery coating pan?

    Your way sounds much easier if it works the same. Is it 2 table spoons per 5lbs?

    • Jennifer Grant

      Good suggestion though! 2tbsp for each mold pour. I have messaged the writer for clarification. He says Putin 2tbsp just before you pour into the mold, which is a little vague. I assume he means the silicon molds to mini gummies.

  6. Lisa Overman

    Looking for clarification and specifics, same as above commentors…

  7. Elizabeth Thearle

    Just coat the gummy molds with wax.
    I have been making gummies and lollipops and chocolates for a long time and this method is a disaster. It’s impossible to keep the temperature high enough so the beeswax doesn’t solidify without boiling the mixture – which we all know is no good. I have gummy molds that are filled with straight wax right now so I have no idea what the dosage is for each gummy and most of this is going to be thrown out. There’s a reason why the author couldn’t give measurements.

  8. Marion B

    I just made my first batch of cub gummies 😊 thanks for sharing this recipe.

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