How to Make Cannabis Gummies

The cannabis industry has seen monumental changes in the last few years in terms of innovation, product availability, dried flower prices decreasing, and increased demand for oils, edibles, and topicals. These changes have led cannabis companies to look to product lines other than dried flower cannabis to drive sales further and increase revenue. 

One of the fastest-growing cannabis product innovations on the market is edibles, particularly gummies. In this article, we will go over how to make cannabis gummies and how you can convert your small-scale cannabis gummy manufacturing process from the kitchen to fully automated success. 

Gummy Formulation: Gelatin & Pectin Gummies

Gelatin can be extracted from any animal that has the protein collagen. It is made by boiling animal skin, bones, tendons, and ligaments in water. The two most common animals used when making gelatin are cows and pigs. Once gelatin is boiled and cooled, it leaves behind a flavorless, colourless, jelly-like substance. 

When formulating edible gummies, taste, visual appeal, dosage, and texture are all important factors to consider. The taste is arguably the most important of all these factors, so it is crucial when making edible cannabis gummies to choose the right type of gelatin and other raw ingredients. Gelatin acts as a thickening agent that binds gummies together and creates structural support within each gummy. However, because gelatin is made from animals, vegans commonly avoid it. While cheapest to produce, Pork gelatins are often avoided by both Jewish and Muslim people. 

A common vegan-friendly replacement for gelatin when making cannabis gummies is pectin. Pectin is made from fruits and plants by boiling them with sugar. Like gelatin, pectin acts as a thickening agent and can be used to maintain the shape of most cannabis gummies. Pectin gummies are very common when making fruit-flavored cannabis gummies.

What Do You Need To Make Cannabis Gummies

You will need to gather a few ingredients to make cannabis gummies. They are:

  • Cannabis-infused oil
  • Cold water
  • Gelatin or Pectin
  • Sunflower or soy lecithin

You can find most of these ingredients at your local grocery store except for cannabis-infused oil. You can purchase the oil premade; if you plan to make the oil for your cannabis gummies yourself, learn how to do it below.

How To Make Cannabis-Infused Oil In Small Batches

The first step to making cannabis-infused oil for your cannabis gummies is to decarboxylate your dried cannabis flower. Decarboxylation is the term that describes the method of activating the active component in cannabis, THCA, and turning it into THC, the chemical compound that gets people high. To decarboxylate cannabis for your edible gummies, grind dried flower onto a foil or baking sheet and place it in a pre-heated oven at 230°F for roughly an hour. The more cannabis you are decarboxylating, the longer this step will take. Throughout the decarboxylation process, keep an eye on the baking sheet to make sure it doesn’t get too hot inside the oven. 

Once the cannabis has finished decarboxylating, it’s time to heat coconut oil into a saucepan on the stove. When the coconut oil has reached a temperature of about 135°F you can begin to add the decarboxylated cannabis to the saucepan. Let the mixture simmer for at least 3 hours while remembering to stir the pan every 15 minutes. 

An alternative to using a saucepan is to use a double-boiler. To use a double-boiler in making cannabis oil for cannabis gummies, you need to add water to the bottom pan while adding the coconut oil to the top section while continuously stirring in the decarboxylated cannabis. 

There is also a third method of decarboxylating cannabis, which is to mix the oil and ground cannabis in a slow cooker set to low for 5 hours. Whatever method you use to create cannabis-infused oil, always strain the mixture to remove plant matter. You may need to strain the mixture several times, but you will have potent cannabis oil to use when making cannabis gummies once you're done.

Making Cannabis Gummies

Now that you have all the necessary ingredients to make cannabis gummies, there is one necessary thing to remember: emulsification. Emulsification allows the cannabis oil in your gummies to bind with other ingredients and creates a uniform texture in the entire gummy. Without an emulsifier, the oil will separate from the rest of the gummy, not only reducing or removing the THC but also destroying the texture of the gummy. A common emulsifier when making cannabis gummies is soy or lecithin.

To make cannabis gummies follow these steps:

  1. Add water, cannabis oil, and your choice of emulsifier to a pot and place it on a stove set to low.
  2. Stir the pot until the mixture has a consistent texture. Once the oil and water emulsify, add the gelatin or pectin while maintaining a constant stir. 
  3. Keep stirring the mixture until the gelatin or pectin is thoroughly dissolved while avoiding letting the mixture boil.
  4. Once the gelatin or pectin is dissolved, pour the contents through a strainer to get rid of any impurities.
  5. Next, take a dropper to fill your gummy molds. It is important to fill your molds before the liquid cools so the ingredients don’t separate. 
  6. After filling all your molds, put them in the freezer for half an hour.

Once the half-hour is up, you can remove the cannabis gummies from the freezer, and they are done! 

Large Scale Cannabis Gummy Production

Now that you know the basics of making edible cannabis gummies at home, you can consider upgrading the scale of your operations and begin producing cannabis gummies to sell.

When scaling up your production, there are a few changes in equipment needed to speed up the production process to allow you to output more cannabis gummies per hour. One of the pieces of equipment that will save you plenty of time pouring your cannabis mixture into molds is an automated depositor. These machines will flawlessly output the same amount of mixture into a mold every time. 

Two types of depositors are commonly used when making cannabis gummies. They are automated depositors and semi-automated depositors. While both can save you plenty of time manually pouring out your mixture, fully automated depositors will pour the mixture without the need for human action to move the nozzle. Semi-automated depositors will either need human hands to move their nozzle or have another mechanical part operated by a human.

The cannabis market is rapidly evolving with new cannabis products being introduced every few weeks. Of these products, cannabis gummies are leading the charge with a 50% market growth expected within the next 4 years.

When scaling up your business to capitalize on a growing market, having the right equipment is necessary to meet cannabis gummy production demands. To learn more about how you can output more cannabis gummies and the equipment you will need, check out the rest of our blog or contact ATG Pharma.

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