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From Dancing Bears to CBD Gummies: A Complete History of Gummy Bears

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Few candies can claim a place in the hall of fame of the most beloved sweets. Many have come and gone, but only the tastiest have survived. Gummy bears are among the few that can claim a permanent spot in this list of all-time favorites, but their journey to becoming a confectionery icon was not an easy one.

History and Rise in Popularity

Like Nietzsche and bratwurst, the gummy bear originated in Germany where it is still vastly popular under the name Gummibär. They were first manufactured by Hans Riegel, Sr., a candy confectioner in Bonn, who founded the Haribo company in the early 1920s. Inspired by the trained “dancing” bears that were commonly seen across Europe at street markets and festivals during the 19th century, Riegel Sr. introduced the gummy Dancing Bear (Tanzbär) in 1922.

Due to their novelty, the gummy bears quickly spread throughout Germany becoming a staple in kiosks and candy stores across the country. Even during Germany’s most tumultuous years in the first half of the 20th century, gummy bears remained extremely affordable and retained their popularity among the general public.

Haribo’s Dancing Bear gummy eventually became their now world-famous Gold-Bears candy. Introduced in 1967, the Gold-Bears turned Haribo into a European candy empire with their popularity reaching even the most remote corners of the European continent.


As gummy bears made their American debut in 1982, children began to fall in love with them. Disney, being Disney, saw an opportunity to turn children’s affection for gummy bears into cold, hard cash. They produced an animated series for NBC in 1985 based on the gummy bear candies titled Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears. The series became an instant hit that lasted for four seasons further contributing to the popularity of gummy bear products in the states and other countries like the United Kingdom where the show was also extremely successful.

Gummy bear fever began to spread quickly in North America and other regions where gummy bear candies were not as popular. Eventually, other candy companies started to manufacture their version of gummy bears with each brand offering different flavors, sizes, and packaging options.

Gummy Bears Today

Gummy bears have remained a favorite among kids and adults in the 21st century. They are available in dozens of different varieties. As times have changed, gummy bears have also adapted to different dietary needs including sugar-free and organic varieties. In the last few years, gummy bears have even transitioned into the health and wellness communities with bear-shaped vitamins and most recently CBD gummy bears.

How CBD Gummies are Made

Like most gummies, CBD gummy bears are manufactured in labs or factories by the thousands using a not so complicated process. Typically, the ingredients, including natural flavors and CBD extracts, are mixed in a vat until they turn into a liquid. This resulting liquid is cooked until it thickens into a viscous substance called a slurry which is then poured into bear-shaped molds. Finally, the molds are refrigerated for a couple of hours before the gummies can be taken out and packaged for consumption.

How to Make Your Own CBD Gummy Bears

The best CBD gummies are generally made with the help of licensed pharmacists and labs for quality control. However, you don’t have to be a licensed expert to make your own CBD gummy bears. All you need are a few simple ingredients that can be found in most supermarkets and high-quality CBD extracts which you can purchase online. The best part of homemade gummies is that you can substitute certain ingredients if you prefer to take a healthier route. If you are interested in a healthy CBD gummy option, homemade recipes are the way to go. For example, take a look at this simple recipe that uses CBD extracts, raw honey, and natural fruit juices.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, mix the juice and raw honey until mixture starts to simmer.
  2. Add gelatin and whisk quickly. Allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add CBD oil and dye. Mix well.
  4. Pour mixture into molds and refrigerate for 12 hours or until firm.

If you are using different color dyes, divide the mixture into small bowls after step 2 and add different colors. You may also opt to use CBD terpenes instead of juice for a more herbal taste free of the sugars in natural juices.

What Varieties of CBD Gummies Do People Prefer?

CBD is extremely versatile, which is why you will find CBD gummies available in dozens of different shapes and dosages, each serving different purposes. By far, the most popular CBD gummies are sugar-coated bears that help users relax and melatonin-infused CBD gummies specially formulated to fight sleep problems. Other popular CBD gummy products include mini fruit bites, sour froggies, and on-the-go packages for travelers and students with busy schedules.

Other Things You Can Do With CBD Gummy Bears

CBD gummy bears have now become one of the most popular forms of CBD, as they help people benefit from the healing properties of the hemp compound via a simple consumption method. But what if you are not a fan of gummy bears by the handful? Luckily, it doesn’t take much effort to get creative with CBD gummies since they can be easily incorporated into a variety of foods and drinks. For instance, you can make CBD popsicles by dropping CBD gummies into a popsicle mold filled with coconut water or Gatorade. You can also mix CBD bears in cookie or brownie batter, or soak them in your choice of liquor for some sweet, boozy fun.

The Future of Gummy Bears

It is difficult to imagine a future without gummy bears. Just like they have adapted to changes in the past, they most likely will adapt to changes that are yet to come. Gummy bears have become a staple in stores everywhere and are an important part of candy history and culture.

Gummy bears are enjoyed by adults and children worldwide, and their popularity has only gotten stronger as new generations have been introduced to them. For now, we can rest assured knowing our children and their children will be biting off the heads of gummy bears for years to come.

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