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monto39

Introduction, Marijuana candy maker

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Just wanted to introduce myself.

 

I make candy for the legal marijuana market in Seattle and the rest of Washington.  I'm a classically trained chef (apprenticeship AND school AND years under great but abusive French chefs that pay almost nothing).   But that training was 75% savory, 25% pastry.  Almost none was confectionery.

 

Now I make confectionery.

 

So I am always looking for info. that skilled confectioners can provide.  The discussions on here on Panning, and the recreation of Jacques Genin caramels pretty much made me fall in love with this forum.  I hope I can contribute to the body of knowledge here as well as draw from it.

 

I work for a great company right now.  We are working on launching an ambitious marijuana candy line and it falls on me to make it happen.  So I will at times be relying heavily on this forum to help me accomplish my duties.

 

I have a decade + experience making pot edibles.  I had a moderately successful marijuana ice cream and sorbet company and I regularly consult with producers across the country and in Canada.  I would be happy to answer any questions about dosing or infusion methods.  .

 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my bio!

 

Monto39

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Howdy and welcome. While I have no recreational interest in or medical need for marijuana, I have no particular bias against it either as long as it's for medical reasons or, if for recreational reasons, not on the road or in the workplace. Basically, anywhere I wouldn't want someone intoxicated, I don't really want them high either. With the soon to arrive legalization of recreational marijuana here in Canada, I'm sure there will be people looking to get into the edible end of the market that could probably learn a lot from you if they find these forums or are already here.

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Welcome to eGullet monto39.  I'm a Canadian member also.  And soon, as you no doubt know, recreational marijuana will be legally available in Canada.  

 

Although medical cannabis is quite legal in Canada, there are available through a medical prescription no edibles of any kind.  If a user wants edibles, he or she must learn how to make these items.  It's hard to know how legalization will affect this aspect of medical availability.  

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Welcome!  I've been talking with another edibles confections start-up - it certainly seems like a growing market, especially if you can expand to other states.  I do wonder how the sales and marketing is different ... you still have to get into stores and hope for good shelf position and high turnover, but you're also really relying on the budtenders recommendation.  It seems like there are more options in edibles all the time, what will make yours stand out?  

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I don’t live in that area, but finding good, hard CBD candy is not easy. Plenty of gummies, chocolates, cookies, etc., but hard candy is rare. It is my preferred method of dosing as you can let it dissolve sublingualy and therefore the onset of benefits is immediate and not a crapshoot as it is with straight ingestion. 

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Greetings!

Do most of your items start with a government regulated/sourced oil of standardized strength?

 

I am thinking that since oils are difficult to incorporate into hard candies, this may be the reason for a dearth of them on the market. I am a trained pastry chef and confectioner with some (long distant) industry experience and the only way I can think of to incorporate the medicine with hard candy would be to make a center separately then encase it in hard candy -like the hard candies with strawberry jam inside.

 

@monto39 I'd be interested to learn how to make a full-on medicinal hard candy with as few ingredients as possible if you can share that with us. Most of us are very familiar with boiling sugar, so don't worry about going into too much detail about that.

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Extract does not have to be oil based. 

 

Even if it was, don’t plenty of hard candies use oil-based flavors?  Isn’t hard candy what so many  Lorann oils are for?  Lollipops, jolly ranchers, etc... and don’t forget how much butter one can incorporate into English toffee. 

 

I’ve had some very good and not so good cannabis hard candies. One brand I like uses an alcohol based extract and isomalt. 

http://www.zootology.com/products/zootrocks/zootrocks-tart-green-apple

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At some point, perhaps in my lifetime, New York State will join the states which have become enlightened.  That is, after everyone lines up for the money.

 

We were recently in California, and man did I have a good time at Harvest, on Geary.

 

Now, what were we talking about again?

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Posted (edited)

You would expect it to be a problem, but I rarely have any issues with incorporating the THC into hard candy.

 

I used to use BHO (butane hash oil), but for several years now I only use Distillate.  This is any extract (usually Ethanol based extract) that is then distilled the similar to the way liquors are produced from  fermented liquids.  The THC content runs 80-98% (usually ~85%).

 

Sometimes I add as much as 1% of the total weight in soy lecithin (liquid), but not always.  What I usually do is add the amount of distillate needed to a small beaker, add equal weight of 95% ethanol, put that into a hot water bath (at low simmer, ~175 F) and then add it hot to the cooked sugar mass as soon as target temp. is reached.  By the time the THC is added ~1/3 of the alcohol evaporates.  It's important that minimal ethanol is added and that it fully evaporates afterwards.  If there's residual ethanol in the finished product, it adds to the already present bitterness.

 

When I add the THC/ethanol, at first I let it sit on the surface for 30-45 seconds- until a decent amt. of ethanol evaporates.  Meanwhile I'll be adding the flavoring and coloring to the surface as well.  When the mass cools to ~275 F I add the citric acid (it's the monohydrate, so no problem adding it as powder) and then mix it all in thoroughly.  The citric acid causes slight foaming, which helps to incorporate everything.  

 

Everything I listed in the paragraph above happens pretty quickly.  It's important to have everything ready and practice the process a few times before committing expensive quantities - many times something gets forgotten.  If you look at the mass at eye level you can see if there's any separation at the surface - keep mixing 'till it's smooth, homogeneous and slightly dull looking.

 

Shaping them is a whole separate issue.  We're deciding on the equipment for that now.  There's no difference for infused candy as for not as far as shaping goes though.

 

Plain fruit flavored hard candies are some of the strongest tasting edibles - which may be part of the reason they aren't common.  There's no fat to hide the distinct tastes that marijuana extracts have (think adding bitter soap to hard candy and trying to hide the taste).  And the potency of the extract isn't always the answer either - I've had 97% THC distillate that tasted TERRIBLE , and 75% CO2 extract that was very agreeable.  The nature of the impurities is easily as important as the quantity of them.  Unfortunately not a lot is available as far as what tastes how. I'm trying to build a body of knowledge on this subject but it's in the early stages.  I'd love input if anyone has any. 

 

I know you get better clarity and colors from cooking to 310 F, but I usually go as close to 320 F as possible (without risking browning).  That way the surface stays as dry as possible.   A glucose syrup with the right carbohydrate profile helps a lot in this respect as well (low dextrose, high maltose, +DE less than 50).

 

There's tricks that work well - surface coatings of sour sugar (up to 15% citric acid, or equivalent amt's of other ones).  

 

I'd love to hear what worked for anyone else.  Really the tastier edibles are those with a decent fat and dairy component - or the best I think is chocolate (which is SO straightforward to make).

 

 


Edited by monto39 (log)
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Posted (edited)

And (PastryGirl),  I think those Zoot Rocks are really well done.  They make great edibles in general, but the Zoot Rocks in particular are consistently good - something rare in our industry.

 

My experience with flavors in oil base is that they only work if they are sufficiently concentrated (I haven't found any yet that are).  I just did a batch with an oil based flavoring that comprised 2% of the total weight.  The batch turned out greasy and sloppy.  So the threshold is definitely less than 2%.  I'm guessing if you could reach the depth of flavor you needed with < 1% of the weight it may work, but not ideal either.

 

Citrus essential oils did work, I always used them in conjunction with other flavors.  I found that using just citrus oils left a sharp burn on my tongue if I used only them for the flavoring.

 


Edited by monto39 (log)
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It’s good to hear a welcoming crowd. It’s good to hear some methodical research.  

 

Skunk, bitter, in candy and pastry, is a good thing.  I aim to turn off any juvenile. 

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