How to Make Weed Nerd Ropes

Sophia Delphi May 13, 2022 - 7 min read
Fact Checked
Colorful THC nerd ropes arranged on a wooden board

Two possible meanings come to mind when you hear the word “nerds.”

Wikipedia defines them this way:

  • A person seen as overly intellectual, obsessive, introverted, or lacking social skills.
  • An American candy launched in 1983.

Which definition would best apply to “nerds” when the context is weed?

We’ve all known nerds who are also stoners. The Nerds we’re more interested in, though, are the delicious ones — the pebble-shaped, neon-colored, fruit-flavored candies that provided a yummy sugar fix when we were kids.

But if you haven’t kept up with the candy world, you may not be aware of Nerds Ropes.

They hit the market in 2001. They’re long, gummy strings filled with Nerds. They’re extremely popular.

And not surprisingly, they’ve inspired a new type of edible: THC Nerds Ropes.

(Caution: the following sections may give you the munchies even if you haven’t been smoking.)

What Are Nerd Ropes?

The story may be true, or it may be apocryphal.

Supposedly, a Nestlé factory worker accidentally poured some liquid gummy mix into a bowl of Nerds one day before going to lunch. (Nestlé used to own the Nerds brand.)

When he got back the mess had hardened, with the Nerds sticking to the gummy candy. It tasted so good that the company started producing the concoction in the form of a long rope. The chewy and crackly fruit candy was an immediate hit, and is now produced in numerous varieties; all are gummy ropes with dozens of Nerds attached.

“Real” Nerds ropes aren’t made with weed, of course. But imitation versions, infused with THC, have hit dispensaries across the country.

That may delight patients and recreational users — because the edibles are delicious. However, not everyone is thrilled with the widespread availability of potent THC Nerd Ropes.

What’s In THC Nerds Ropes?

There are two types of THC Nerds Ropes on the market.

Some suppliers have apparently done nothing more than infusing packaged Nerds Ropes with THC. In fact, there are dispensaries which have cloned the real Nerds webpages on their own sites, complete with the legitimate ingredient and nutrition facts label (and even the Ferrara Candy Company name).

Those “counterfeit” Nerds Ropes contain bountiful amounts of sugar (refined sugar, corn syrup, and dextrose), gelatin, and small amounts of other ingredients including natural flavors and artificial colors.

The manufacturers who make their own THC Nerds Ropes from scratch use the same basic ingredients, but with different recipes and different selections of flavors. They create infused gummy ropes and attach Nerds that they’ve purchased separately.

The ingredient we’re most concerned with, of course, is THC. The amount of the psychoactive cannabinoid varies by producer; the most common dosages are 250mg, 400mg or 500mg per rope; the strain of weed also varies by producer. There are also producers who infuse their candy with Delta-8 instead of Delta-9 THC.

That presents a potential problem.

A non-infused Nerds Rope that you’d buy at a drugstore or grocery store is designed to be eaten as one serving; most people can eat the whole candy in fewer than ten bites. However, as we’ve mentioned, the recommended edible dose is just 10-25mg, meaning that you’d only need a small bite to get high.

Users who aren’t careful — or who don’t realize just how much THC is in the complete piece of candy — could end up consuming way too much THC and find themselves in big trouble.

Assuming a “reputable” cannabis producer makes the THC Nerds Ropes you purchase, however, they definitely do the job. They can take as long as an hour to act because the candy must be digested before the cannabinoid is released into the body. Once they hit, they provide all of the psychoactive effects and health benefits you’d expect from an edible.

And as anyone who’s had the pleasure of eating Nerds can tell you — they taste delicious.

Can You Make Your Own THC Nerds Ropes?

Yes, you can make these candies at home, but they’re more difficult to produce than a pan of pot brownies or a sheet of weed cookies. There are a number of recipes for THC Nerds Ropes online; this one is courtesy of

  1. Start by blooming 2½ tablespoons of gelatin together with a small package of Jell-O in ½ cup of cold water. Then mix with ¼ cup corn syrup and simmer while whisking the mixture continuously.
  2. Once the mixture is completely smooth, let it cool until warm to the touch, and then add ¼ cup canna oil. Continue whisking until the oil is fully combined with the gelatin/corn oil mixture. As it cools it will become a gummy mixture.
  3. Spread a line of Nerd candies on a baking sheet covered with parchment or wax paper. Use a squeeze bottle to cover the candies with a thin layer of your gummy mixture. Gently roll the candies in the gummy mixture to make sure they’re fully coated and sticking to the rope.

Be careful with dosing; as with all edibles, start low and go slow. Remember: they may taste delicious, but they’ll pack a punch once the THC hits.

The Dangers of Weed-Infused Candy

Every Halloween we hear fear-mongering stories of trick-or-treaters being given weed-laced candy.

Needless to say, it’s difficult to imagine people being irresponsible enough — or evil enough — to hand out weed as a Halloween treat. Sadly, though, there are some sick people in the world.

Most of the manufacturers who produce “medicated” Nerds Ropes use packaging very similar to the real thing. And you can probably guess what’s coming next.

In Salt Lake City, two children aged 11 and 5 were hospitalized after eating THC Nerds Ropes that were unknowingly distributed by a Utah food bank. It turns out someone donated 63 packages of the infused candy, packaged to look like regular Nerds Ropes and each containing 400 milligrams of THC. (A normal dose of the edible is 10-25mg.)

Police in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have issued warnings after seizing medicated Nerds Ropes in large-scale raids. There’s no indication anyone planned to distribute that candy to children, but the similarity in packaging is disturbing.

The current manufacturer of Nerds Ropes, Ferrara Candy Company, is working with authorities to prevent the use of their trademark by cannabis producers. Unfortunately, these news stories are the reason many people have heard of THC-infused Nerds.

Their existence has been a welcome sight at dispensaries, though.

THC Nerds Ropes: FAQ

Q: Can you trust THC Nerds Ropes sold in a dispensary if they’re packaged to look just like the non-infused candy?
A: Probably, if you trust the dispensary. We haven’t seen versions of these edibles packaged any other way, so you don’t have much of a choice. We’re not lawyers so we won’t offer an opinion on the legality of apparent trademark infringement, but we do think it’s unfortunate that companies take advantage that way.

Q: How much of a THC Nerds Rope would be an appropriate dosage?
A: It depends on the dosage of the candy since some manufacturers put 250mg into a rope while others use twice as much. If the package isn’t labeled with instructions (and most aren’t), you might want to do a little quick math and figure out how much of the rope would contain 10mg. That’s a good starting point; as we’ve mentioned several times, though, remember that it can take up to an hour to feel the THC’s effects. Don’t think “I’ll just have another bite!” until you know how the first one hits you.