I’ve been a nerds aficionado since the tender age of about 8 (when the sugar rush helped me to survive the boredom of my brothers’ Little League games). But nerds ropes take my love for these crunchy, sweet and tangy pellets of sugary goodness to a whole new level. It’s all the things you love about nerds, but with a gummy bear center. This in and of itself is one thing, but then some genius, in a bout of stoner brilliance, realized you could take this already solid concoction and add weed to it, and the cannabis community has never been the same.
Nerd ropes edibles are basically everything you could want in an infused treat. They’re sweet and tangy with the perfect texture mix of gumminess and crunch, not to mention gorgeous to look at. In this article, we’re going to teach you the ins and outs of making a batch of nerd ropes that would make Wonka himself proud.
As with any DIY edible endeavor, the devil is in the details. Especially when it comes to figuring out potency. If you overdo it on the amount of THC you incorporate into your infused nerd ropes, you could be in for a very long night. A friend of Hail Mary Jane found herself at a CBD conference not long ago and someone she met handed her a homemade nerds rope to try out. She was living in Colorado at the time, and mentioned that she had tickets to the renowned outdoor venue, Red Rocks Amphitheater, that night. “Red Rocks, huh,” the guy she was talking to said. “In that case, you shouldn’t take that, you need this one,” and exchanged the one he’d just given her from one pulled from deep within his bag. Maybe she’d had a few too many hits off the vape pen before heading into the conference, but the meaning of this statement flew right over her head. Fast forward to the next day, the “CBD infused” nerd rope hangover cure, and the 400 mg of THC it contained, had her rocking back and forth in a ball, unable to speak and questioning all of her life decisions. So be careful, folks. Start small, either in serving size or potency, and work up gradually in order to have the best experience.
How to Make Nerd Rope (the Easy Way)
As is often the case in this world, there’s an easy way, and a hard way. Personally, I’m all about keeping it simple, so let’s start with the easiest way to make nerd ropes. Don’t worry, overachievers, we’ll get to you in a minute.
Nerds Rope Edibles Recipe (Equipment and Instructions)
- Squeeze Bottle – You can grab these at most dollar stores or on the interwebs
- Aluminum foil and/or silicone molds
- Baking Sheet
- Liquid Measuring Cup with a pour spout
- Microwave or sauce pan
- Cooking spray (we prefer coconut oil, but any will work)
- Nerds – at least two 10 oz. boxes (but if you order on Amazon and wind up with 60 accidentally, it’s not the worst thing in the world, is it?)
- Gummi Bears – 1 cup (we wound up with 5 lbs, but we’re also a stoner publication, so we’ll see that they don’t go to waste)
- Infused coconut oil (We personally love the Levo II and use this for all of our edible making.) We have a discount code for the Levo 2 if you use MJ10 get 10% off at checkout!
THC Nerds Rope
- Take a large piece of aluminum foil and fold it into an accordion shape
- Gently pull apart to make ‘troughs’ in the aluminum and spread out across the cookie sheet.
- Spray the troughs with coconut (or another type of) non-stick oil.
- Place 1 Cup of gummy bears in the glass liquid measuring cup and place in the microwave. Heat on high for 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between.
- Stir in 2 tbsp infused coconut oil.
- Mix thoroughly
- Pour into the squeeze bottle.
- Pour Nerds candies into the troughs of the aluminum foil. If using silicone molds, fill 1/3-1/2 with Nerds.
- Use the squeeze bottle to make lines of the gummy mixture on the nerds. 2 lines should suffice.
- Top with an additional layer of Nerds.
- Refrigerate for an hour or leave out to set overnight.
How to Make Medicated Nerds Rope Edibles (the Hard Way)
So it’s not necessarily hard, but if you’re making your own gummies instead of using pre-made gummy bears, there are more steps involved. But, in exchange for your hard work, you’ll get bragging rights, so that’s gotta be worth something, right? And realistically, it’s not that terribly hard. No more difficult than mixing up a bowl of Jell-O anyway.
All the above steps remain essentially the same, with the exception of making the gummy mixture separately.
Nerds Rope Ingredients
- Large packet (6 oz.) of flavored gelatin or Jell-o
- 4 envelopes of gelatin (unflavored)
- ½ Cup of cold water (we love to substitute with juices like pineapple or cranberry for additional flavor)
- 4 Tbsp of cannabis infused oil or tincture (we prefer coconut oil ourselves, but you do you!)
- Combine Jell-o packet with 4 packets of gelatin and whisk together in a saucepan
- Add water or juice to mixture along with cannabis-infused oil or tincture
- Turn heat on high and bring to a low boil
- Reduce heat to low while stirring continuously
- Let the mixture simmer on low for approximately 5 minutes until everything is blended thoroughly
- Pour into a squeeze bottle (for nerds rope) and/or silicon molds (if using excess for traditional gummies)
- Other steps related to DIY Nerds Rope Edibles Instructions above
How to Store Nerds Rope Edibles
Unfortunately, Nerd Ropes don’t particularly lend themselves to freezing, so the best way to store them is to place them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. After that, the gummy center may become more chewy. Looks like you’re spending the next seven days blissed out…not exactly what we’d call a tragedy.
Variations on Classic Nerds Ropes
You can use any flavor of nerds, and any flavor (or a mixture of gummy bears). For the Nerds, we used rainbow, but the watermelon/cherry combo is great for Christmas gifts, and you can’t go wrong with the timeless grape/strawberry combo classic.
Are Nerd Ropes Vegan?
Most definitely not. Most flavors of Nerds contain a substance called carmine, which is essentially made of crushed up insects and frequently used as a coloring agent. Gelatin, found in the gummy bears, is a protein that is obtained by boiling skin, tendons, ligaments, and/or bones with water, usually from pigs or cows.
Can you Make Vegan Nerds Ropes?
The answer to this is…yes and no. It can definitely be done, but only with limited flavors and special ingredients that aren’t always easy to get your hands on (although the age of Amazon means you can get most anything if you plan ahead). Carmine is not listed on the watermelon/cherry Nerds combo, so you’re safe with those flavors at least. You’d also need to find a vegan gummy product or recipe for the center. There are companies that sell pre-made vegan gummies (the Almighty Google can lead the way) or you can make them yourself.
How to Make Infused Vegan Gummies
This recipe calls for just four ingredients:
- 1 Cup natural juice of your choosing
- 2 teaspoons of agar-agar powder
- infused oil or tincture (1-4 Tbsp depending on desired dosage)
- 2-3 tablespoons of sweetener (we prefer agave, but you can use sugar or maple syrup as well).
Simply mix the ingredients, bring to a boil, and then boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Allow the mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes (long enough to no longer be extremely hot to the touch but not so long that it begins to harden). Transfer into a squeeze bottle and use for nerds ropes (quick! before the mixture hardens!) or put into a silicon mold, let set for 10-20 minutes, and viola, a vegan treat that’s PETA approved!
Are Nerds Rope Discontinued?
No. The non-medicated version of Nerd Ropes are still very much available online and at retailers nationwide.
How to Calculate the Potency of Nerds Rope
- Figure out how many grams of flower you used to make your cannabutter/cannaoil.
- Multiple this number by 1000 in order to convert it to milligrams.
- Multiply this number by the percentage of THC (or CBD) in your flower (so if the flower has 15% THC, you’d multiply by .15, not 15)
- The final number will be the total amount of THC your entire batch.
- Divide this by the number of nerd ropes you make.
For example, say you used a quarter of the Smarties strain of flowers with a THC level of 22%. A quarter ounce is just over 7 grams.
- 7 x 1000 = 7000
- 7000 x .22 = 1540 mg of THC in entire batch
- Final yield = 25 nerd ropes, so 1540 divided by 25 = 61.6 mg of THC per full rope (divide by number of sections if cut down into smaller servings)
An (Important) Note of Caution
Medicated Nerds Rope Edibles (and any homemade edibles for that matter) are for personal use only. Don’t try selling them. In January 2020, twenty-four individuals were arrested following a year-long investigation dubbed, “Operation On the Ropes.’ Authorities seized 21,000 pieces of candy totaling over 100K individual doses.