In the past, making cannabis-infused butter and oil was always somewhat of an undertaking. First, finding an ounce of pesticide-free flower at a price and quality that is better for cooking than inhaling is a challenge in just about any legal recreational market. Second, using cookie sheets to decarboxylate the flower then throwing it in the crockpot before squeezing the oily compounds through a cheesecloth takes a lot of hands-on time and can create a big mess in your kitchen. The Ardent Nova Decarboxylator and Infuser takes all of these issues right out of the equation, allowing you to decarb and infuse small quantities of flower and oils — and that’s just the beginning.
The Ardent Nova is a small, purple appliance that would fit right into the kitchen without a second thought. Aside from the main component, it is comprised of a stainless steel insert cup, silicone cap, and plastic lid. With this setup alone you can decarboxylate cannabis flower and also infuse all types of oil, butter, and chocolate. You can even bake a cloud cake right inside the stainless steel heating chamber.
We had the opportunity to test out the Olive Oil Infusion, Coconut Oil Infusion, and Magic Shell Infusion Sets. Each kit contains everything that you’ll need to infuse and strain oil, butter, and chocolate. There is a small stainless steel funnel and screen that fit perfectly into the mouth of a 2 oz bottle, as well as a bottle to put finished infusions into. Each component came in handy as we put the Ardent Nova to the test.
First, we decarboxylated 3.5 grams of dried, cured cannabis flower before infusing it into 2 ounces of black truffle oil. The decarb process was so easy, just throw the flower directly into the main chamber, close the lid, and push the power button until it is red. This will begin the decarboxylation process which lasts approximately 90 minutes. It will still work if you don’t break up the bud, but out of habit, I took the large stems out for the decarb process.
When this process is complete, the power light will shine green to indicate that the THC and other cannabis compounds are fully expressed and ready to infuse. In an attempt to test all features we also decarboxylated 1.5 grams of kief in the stainless steel cup provided in the olive oil infusion kit. Both processes were simple, resulting in nicely decarbed weed products. And decarboxylating for both kief and flower truly took just the push of a button.
The Nova was designed to decarboxylate but it also works as a great way to infuse almost anything composed of enough fat to absorb the cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. To infuse the black truffle oil we used the supplied stainless steel cup insert and put the decarboxylated cannabis and oil in the cup together, closed each lid, and pushed the start button. After 90 minutes and a couple of strains through the funnel, the black truffle oil had been infused with a potent amount of cannabis.
The coconut oil infusion process is a little different — for that, you put the lidless jar of coconut oil directly into the main heating chamber with cannabis (in this case kief) right on top of the coconut oil in the jar. The oil will heat, melt, and the cannabis kief incorporated. Once the infusion cycle was complete, we just poured the oil through the provided screened funnel into the provided jar.
What’s It Like to Use the Ardent Nova?
Overall the Nova was an awesome machine to use and I definitely plan to keep one in my kitchen. It doesn’t take up too much space and can easily be stored in the cabinet or on the counter. The ease of use and flexibility in how much cannabis can be decarbed make for wonderful attributes. It is important to mention that the unit gets quite hot while it’s working, so its best to keep it separate from other items on the counter while it’s plugged in.
Also, although it is advertised on some e-commerce platforms as an odor-proof decarboxylation process, that isn’t the case. Decarbing an eighth didn’t stink up the entire condo that we were staying in, but it definitely smelled like pot. For someone in a zero-tolerance situation, this probably wouldn’t be a good fit without being paired with other air filtration methods. Lastly, it’s important to keep an eye on the screen as you pour the infused oil. The screen tends to move with the introduction of the oil so a few times in the straining process you may need to push it back into the middle of the funnel.
Almost too easy to use, great infusion abilities, and versatility make this a great piece of cannabis technology for cannabis patients and recreational users. Pair that with the extensive tutorials and research into absorption rates of decarboxylated cannabis into various oils and butters, and the Ardent Nova is worth the price tag.