How To Make Cannabis Hard Candy

Jessica McKeil October 23, 2018 70 comments

DIY medicated candy that is discrete and goes anywhere that you go.

Editor’s Note: an earlier version of the article indicated the candy must reach 275°F. Increasing the temperature to 300 °F will work better. Anywhere between 300°F to 310°F should work. This is the range for hard-crack candy.

Everyone loves edibles. They are popular among just about every demographic and on a global scale. There is a perfect edible for everyone, from mind-bending recreational treats with over a hundred milligrams of THC to tiny microdoses of 2.5 milligrams of CBD found in cannabis hard candy.

Patients, in particular, love edibles because they are simple to dose, easy to make, and avoid some of the lingering (if unwarranted) stigma associated with smoking. For patients new to the medical cannabis experience, they also represent a delicious introduction. When dosed right (low and slow), edibles ease patients into the therapeutic benefits carefully and gently. 

 

multi coloured hard candies in a pileThe Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabis Hard Candies

Cannabis hard candies, whether purchased from a dispensary or made at home, generally have a few properties in common: small dose, fast absorption, and discretion.

The goal of medical cannabis is to settle on a dose that delivers the most therapeutic benefit with the least adverse effects. Unlike a hard-hitting hundred milligram dose of THC, which may be useful for chronic issues before bed, small cannabis hard candies are excellent for daily maintenance doses. 

Throughout the day, cannabis-infused candies help maintain a long-duration of benefits without having to take a large single dose. After taking their initial treatment in the morning, patients may feel the effects wear off after three or four hours. By consuming a small cannabis hard candy at intervals throughout the day, it’s possible to keep the therapeutic benefits going for longer.

Furthermore, the cannabinoids contained in hard candies absorb quickly — likely much faster then what patients might expect from an edible. So long as it’s sucked on (and not chewed and swallowed), the therapeutic value is absorbed sublingually and avoids the delays of the digestive tract.

For patients with zero experience with cannabis, especially with the intoxicating cannabinoid THC, it’s best to start experimenting with cannabis hard candies at the lowest dose possible. What does a low dose mean? Most would suggest under five milligrams. For those patients familiar with the effects of THC, a ten-milligram dose will likely be quite manageable.

 

Cannabis Hard Candy

The following is a simple recipe to make cannabis hard candy at home. Hard candies are an easy way to administer a dose of medical cannabis without smoking or vaping. Like all edibles, cannabis hard candy is a very discreet way to ingest cannabis, with no smell, vape cloud, or paraphernalia needed to consume. Keep a little container in your purse, pocket, or desk drawer and dose on the go.

Whether it is for others or yourself, be mindful of the dosage in the candy.

Ingredients

1-2 tablespoons of cannabis tincture

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 box (3 oz) Jello of any flavor you like


Equipment:

RELATED  How to Make Edibles Candy The Easy Way

Candy thermometer 

Small heavy saucepan

20 lollipop sticks (or candy molds)

If you do not have mold, its ok there is a work around. Simply create a layer of icing sugar by spreading it on a pan. Create dents in the icing sugar the size that you would want to make the candy into, and you have your candy mold.

molds for cannabis hard candy

Directions:

  1. Candy making is time-sensitive, gather all your equipment and ingredients before starting. If you need to make a powdered sugar mold, do so in advance.
  2. If you are making lollipops or using a proper candy mold, grease them before you start with coconut oil. This step does not apply to the powdered sugar mold.
  3. Over low heat, mix sugar and corn syrup in the saucepan. Stir until the sugar is fully dissolved.
  4. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil. Watch the mixture at all times. Stir frequently, and be extremely careful. Hot melted sugar can cause serious burns.
  5. Place the candy thermometer in the pot and let the mixture boil until it reaches 300°F to 310°F degrees. Keep stirring frequently.
  6. When it reaches 300°F to 310°F degrees, remove the thermometer. Pour in the jello and cannabis tincture and rapidly stir until combined.
  7. Remove from the heat. Using a metal spoon, pour the mixture into the candy molds. You have to move fast during this stage as it sets extremely quickly. Also, remember hot sugar burns. Be very careful.
  8. Allow the candy to cool at room temperature. Do not place the candy in the refrigerator or freezer. As the candy cools, it will harden.
  9. Once the hard candy or lollipops have cooled, you can lightly coat them in icing sugar. This will prevent them from sticking to each other when packaged.
  10. Store in a glass or metal container, in a cool dry place.

    whisking cannabis hard candy

Slow and Steady for Long-Lasting Value

Unlike the Jolly Ranchers stashed at the mechanics or the bowl of peppermints at the doctor’s office, don’t overindulge on these cannabis hard candies. The first dose of every batch should represent a taste test but also a dose test. 

While it’s unlikely that cannabis-infused hard candies will knock you off your feet, there is always a chance. Maybe you made the candies larger than usual, or maybe it wasn’t evenly mixed. Try one hard candy, wait for the peak of effects at two hours, then reach for more if needed. The golden rule of medical cannabis is start low and go slow, and the same rule applies to cannabis hard candy.

 

Author avatar

Jessica McKeil

Jessica McKeil is a freelance writer focused on the medical marijuana industry, from production methods to medicinal applications. She is lucky enough to live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada where the cannabis industry is exploding. When not writing, she spends much of her time exploring in the coastal forests.

70 comments

  1. Avatar

    Colleen Scott

    Question concerning cooking temperatures. At what temperature does thc level cook out ?

  2. Avatar

    Sarah Stevens

    Can you use canna-oil like made with a vegetable oil or coconut oil instead of canna butter?

  3. Avatar

    jennifer

    dont i need to get to 300 for hard crack for hard candy

  4. Avatar

    Mary Smith

    You might have a problem with the hard crack seeing as how you put Jello in the mix….

  5. Avatar

    Shirl

    Hey if I use cod oil for my hard candy what should be the percent of the THC and the CBD

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      I’ve never worked with cod oil….but if you are infusing that instead of olive oil or butter, the process would be the same. The recipe calls for cannabutter or a tincture.

      • Why are my hard candy with soluble non alchol time ncure wont go hard ???

        • Avatar

          Bill

          Candy making nerd here. I know im necroing but usually non-alcoholic solvents have a high boiling point and or dont really boil so much as burn. If the temperature of the solvent you are using has a high boiling point than thr hard crack point of candy there will be too much left over solvent by the time your candy is ready to pout resulting in either a liquidy mess or a horrible sugar based filling remover. Hope this helps.

  6. Avatar

    Shirl

    The candy were delicious I used strawberry But no buzz

  7. Avatar

    Melissa Newcombe

    What if I am using THC infused Caro syrup? Same half a cup?

  8. Avatar

    Veronica

    I’ve tried the candies 2 times with the same butter I used successfully in cookies. Each time after the boiling there is a lot of liquid on top of the boiled bud butter, karo and sugar. What did I do wrong? Is it a butter problem. It looks like it’s all the good oil that won’t mix in even after adding jello. Plz help

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      Hi Veronica – did you use high quality butter? Some brands are actually oil. I’ve run into separation problems with these in general. Once they get to the melting point, the oil separates out of the butter and ruins everything.

      • Jennifer Grant

        Jennifer Grant

        Veronica – are you using a candy thermometer. It has to hit that temperature for things to gel. THEN you have to quickly dump into the mold.

        • Avatar

          Deric L Hausman

          I have had separation issues in candy dishes.Tried different butter and fresh sugar.

          • Jennifer Grant

            Jennifer Grant

            I’ll pass your message to the cook for problem solving. Thanks

          • Jennifer Grant

            Jennifer Grant

            I’ve messaged the CannaDish.net chef and he recommends that butter be changed out for oil…or even better…tincture. He says he always uses tincture for cannabis candy recipes because it avoids the separation issue altogether. I have not heard back from the original poster yet. Kyle is not a RxLeaf employee, so I hope we get to hear back. In the mean time, what do you think about trying a tincture?

        • Avatar

          Angell

          You mention butter in the directions, but not in the ingredients list…unless I’m misreading….

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      I’ve also sent a message to the man who sent in the recipe for some trouble shooting.

    • Avatar

      Nikki Rogers

      I had this same issue. And I am using good quality butter.

      • Jennifer Grant

        Jennifer Grant

        The most important bit is to make sure the temperature is accurate. It will not set if not. A candy thermometer will help it be accurate.

    • Avatar

      Jj Ibanez

      Can i use coconut oil? Only know how to make that

    • Avatar

      Justin

      I used my reclaim and my candy was amazing

    • For separation issues using butter:

      Mix 2TBL water with 1/4tsp (pinch) soy lecithin powder and add to pot.
      Heat all ingredients over low heat until melted and Then wisk vigorously until emulsified.
      Turn heat up to medium/med-high
      And wait to reach temp 275°F+

      Been a cannabis chef for 10+ years…
      Crisp non oily candies errtime 😉

    • I do t see any butter in the recipe.. I make canna butter, canna coconut oil, and this was my first tincture and second time making the candy. Using an ounce of finely ground bud, I was told to either store in a mason jar in the dark or use the MBM.
      Then cook off the alcohol. Neither time did I get hard candy cooking to 275.
      Where does the butter come in and where am I going wrong? Any ideas?

      • Jennifer Grant

        Jennifer Grant

        Hi Mary Beth – the butter was removed from the recipe. This is a post from a RxLeaf reader (back in the day when ppl could self post on the site). Our cannabis chef modified the recipe to help ppl have more success. Did you use a candy thermometer to get the cracking temperature?

        • I do, and made gummies with the coconut oil. Didn’t care for the texture. I’ve also made gummies using the Haribou recipe and adding the tincture concentrate after I pull it off the heat. I’m having a hard time with adding jello at the end. It cools it off too much. Should it be added like at 240 and let it heat up.? It instantly turns to goo, but yes it gets hard. I need a way to give me more time. I’ve had two strokes and I struggle with moving quickly with hot sugar. Any suggestions? It seems like impending disaster every time.

          • Jennifer Grant

            Jennifer Grant

            Hi Mary Beth – I’ve sent your message over to CannaDish to the cannabis chef there. Stay tuned.

          • Jennifer Grant

            Jennifer Grant

            Mary Beth, Jacob says that if you are having an issue in that Jello is cooling it to quickly, try using flavor extracts and coloring instead. He will think about how to help with the stroke issue. I’m sure you are not alone in that recipes that require quick timing can be a problem.

  9. Avatar

    Brianna Paige

    Hey Jennifer ,
    Ok … I’m getting frustrated. My candies never get hard. I have to keep them cool at all times. They are a soft chew candy very gritty you can taste the jello. I like using the butter. My tinctures haven’t come out good. So I know the butter can soften them , however do you think of skipping the jello ingredient for a simple flavoring oil could they harden up??

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      I’m sorry you’re having such a struggle. I have not had a problem with this recipe. Are you using a candy thermometer?

    • Avatar

      diane richey

      It has to be 300 I have been making these for years every week. I use Terps Canna butter and RSO. I don’t loose anything it’s all in the timing

    • Vegetable glycerin tincture may have been used if candies are chewy., that or temp is reached.

      VG is not a crystal compound like sugar, so it doesnt set. Boiling point is ~450° so of using vg only way to male them hard is lower amounts if absolutely needing to use.

  10. Avatar

    Nicholas L Berger

    If I’m already using 1/4 cup cannabutter in the beginning, and want to increase the potency, how much tincture can I still add at the end?

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      You can add as much as you need. It’s hard to answer as we don’t know the potency of your tincture. Try a few drops to start and move up or down from there.

      • Avatar

        Nicholas L Berger

        Sorry, I should have been more specific, I was referring to the consistency of the candy. Will it have trouble setting if I add too much? If I’m adding tincture, do I use less butter? Haven’t tried yet, but don’t want to screw up my first batch too bad.

    • Avatar

      Laura

      I want to try this recipe. I have non-infused coconut oil but I have a lot of wax. I know I need to decarb the wax first. And add that in at the end. My question is…how much wax should I use per batch?

      • Avatar

        Chris Simpson

        High, I don’t decarb bc it gets done during cooking in mix? better results for the patients I treat, I use wax only and Lorraine oils for flavor not jello! Never has any issues

  11. Avatar

    Nicholas L Berger

    I apologize, I should have been more specific. I was asking more about the consistency of the candy. How much tincture can I add at the end, and still have the candy set properly? Do I use less butter to make up for tincture? Recipe says 1-2 tablespoons, but it also says that’s if you are not using cannabutter.

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      Ah. I see! I will have to contact the author of the recipe to find that out. I will get back to you! 🙂

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      OK Nicholas – I just heard back from Robin Kimmel at CannaDish and she says that you can go ahead and add the tincture. A few drops is not going to result in any change to butter ratio. Hope that helps!

  12. When having separation issues, I use liquid sunflower lecithin (1/8-1/4tsp) per batch as it’s a fabulous emulsion ingredient and tends to smooth everything out blending it completely together with no grainy texture in the end product. In fact, I’ve started using it in the initial infusion so it’s already present when ready to use in other recipes. Hope this helps! Happy cooking everyone!!

    • Avatar

      Greg Sawyer

      When you use the sunflower lecithin in the original canna butter, how much do you use. For an ounce of bud and a pound of butter.
      I made some now and there was a full ounce of butter leftover that didnt mix. Thanks.

  13. Avatar

    Len spruill

    Can I skip jello use cinnamon oil?

    • Avatar

      Mike

      Yes you can use flavorings I make rock candy using concentrate turns out awesome I melt my concentrate into a tablespoon of coconut oil then decarb it first

  14. Avatar

    Patty

    I am loving this recipe. It is a bit oily, but black cherry jello And vigorous stirring, McCanna is a very smooth and non-Griddy. I added a bit of corn starch after dabbing them a little and they are perfect thank you so much.

  15. Avatar

    Chadd

    First time with recipe. So I use Canna butter and regular butter. What brand would be best for that

  16. Avatar

    Cherelle Clardy

    Hello what is the best way 2 evenly distribute either CBD powder or liquid into hard candy I need the percentage of CBD in the candy to be consistent within each candy I hope that makes sense.
    thank you

  17. Avatar

    Lynnette Jellison

    I am allergic to dairy so canna butter is out . I infused organic unrefined coconut oil. Can I substitute the infused oil for the butter?

    • Jennifer Grant

      Jennifer Grant

      yes you can. 🙂

    • Avatar

      Nicholas L Berger

      Clarified ghee butter is lactose free, but technically not dairy free since it’s made with butterfat. They remove all of the milk solids during production. If you’re allergic as opposed to lactose intolerant it won’t make a difference though.

  18. Avatar

    Wendy Tolbert

    If i use candy molds do i need to oil the molds and if so what kind if oil do i use

  19. Avatar

    Sharon Wutzke

    Can I just add flower buds(broken up) into my brownie recipe? Won’t it decarb
    while it’s baking?

    Thanks, Sharon ?

  20. Avatar

    Nancy

    In making hard candy is the tincture alcohol-based?

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