IMPORTANT NOTE: The Ardent Nova is Retiring
Ardent Cannabis retiring their original Nova Decarboxylator. There is still some stock on their website, but they will not be producing new stock. However, the Ardent FX is here to stay. I am going to keep this page here for two reasons:
- While they are still available, the Ardent Nova is still a terrific gadget to have.
- Even when they are not available, this page provides useful information for those who do down the Ardent Nova decarboxylator.
Ardent Nova Decarboxylator review
A lot of people have a lot of confusion about decarboxylation. Yet this is an essential step if you ever hope to make potent marijuana edibles. Even though it’s a big scientific word, the process sounds simple enough. Heat the cannabis or cannabis concentrate in order to cause the chemical reaction that converts non-psychoactive THC-A into psychoactive THC.
But heat for how long? And at what temperature? There is massive disagreement among the lexicon of cannabis information out there. Of course people have been successfully making edibles without a decarbing gadget for centuries, but do it wrong and you may have medicinal edibles that lack the high most people are seeking. And I get a lot of emails from a lot of home cook having just this problem.
Shanel Lindsay, inventor of the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator put in the research and found a way to achieve 100% decarboxylation. Of course this is proprietary company information, but Ardent has lab tests to show their decarboxylator actually can convert 100% of the THC-A in cannabis to THC.
About the size of a portable coffee grinder, the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator takes away all the guesswork of decarbing cannabis.
Place plant material or hash, kief, or hash oils (in a silicon container for the latter) in, place the inner and outer lids on, press a button, and in a little under 2 hours your cannabis will be perfectly, 100% decarboxylized. The product could not be easier or more convenient to use.
If I had any critique -- and my audience immediately echoed this the first time I posted an Instagram pic of the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator -- it’s size.
The Nova holds just under an ounce of cannabis. Now for the average home consumer who does not grow their own, this is fine, but those who do grow their own will probably want to decarb more volume at once. (Update, since this Ardent Nova review was released, the folks at Ardent fixed this issue with the release of the Ardent FX.)
Size constrictions aside, this gadget is a workhorse! I put it to the test by decarbing in back-to-back small batches, about 2 1/2 pounds of cannabis (a grower friend gifted me with leftover trim). No problem.
Cheri Loves Her
For 15% off any order from Ardent Cannabis use coupon code ARDENTCHERI15 at checkout.
Dosing and the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator
Besides increased potency, there is another advantage to knowing you have perfectly activated 100% of your THC and that’s dosing. For those who have taken my free online Edibles Dosing Class and use my edibles dosage calculator tool, proper marijuana decarboxylation is important in order to get accurate dosing estimates. If you fail to convert a majority of the THC-A to THC, your dosing estimates will be high and you may be disappointed in the potency of the finished edible. The Ardent Decarboxylator eliminates those discrepancies.
Do I recommend the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator?
Yes. I have one, love it, and use it all the time.
That said, with a price point of about $200.00, the casual user who makes a batch of marijuana brownies once or twice a year can probably live without it. But if you are serious about your edibles, if precise dosing matters to you, or if you are a caregiver preparing edibles as medical treatment, this gadget is a worthy investment.
SPECIAL GET 15% OFF THE ARDENT Nova or FX DECARBOXYLATOR!!!!
A reader asked me if I had a coupon code for the Ardent Decarboxylator. I didn't at the time, but I wrote to the folks at Ardent and asked and they said sure! So enter the code ARDENTCHERI15 at checkout and receive $15% off the price of this great gadget or anything else at the Ardent Cannabis website.
Making Infusions in the Ardent Nova
You can actually infuse directly in the Ardent Nova! That's right you can make cannabutter, cannaoil and infused honey, cream, etc. right in the Ardent Nova. It couldn’t be easier or neater as I show in the video above.
To be sure the Ardent Nova is small. Likewise this a great infusion technique those who like to make small batch of infusions, like say 1/2 cup or less of cannabutter or cannaoil at a time.
I know from my emails that a lot of my readers usually make just enough for the recipe they intend to make at that time, and if that is your style of cannabis cooking, you are going to LOVE the Ardent Nova!
I’ll admit that usually isn’t me, but infusing in the Lift it is so easy I am starting to rethink how I cook. And with its ability to decarb at 100%, you can make some mighty potent small batch infusions.
I also love infusing in the Ardent Nova when making small batches of topicals, such as my infused wrinkle serum and eye serums (recipes are in my online DIY Cannabis Topicals course). As homemade topicals do not contain the chemicals and preservatives lie commercial ones, they don't keep as long and it's likewise important to make them in small batches that you will use in a month or so.
Small But Potent Cannabis Infusions Using the Ardent Nova Decarboxylator
Just because the Ardent Nova infuses a small amount, does not mean you can’t make strong cannabis infusions!
For instance, I used a 1/4 ounce of cannabis to make a 1/2 cup of butter. Even using “average” cannabis with 10% THC, this comes out to about 25 mgs THC per teaspoon. Increase that to 20% THC cannabis and you will have about 50 mgs THC per teaspoon!
For lower doses, use less cannabis or weaker cannabis. For higher doses infuse more cannabis into smaller amounts, or use decarboxylated hash, kief, or hash oil, either alone or in conjunction with cannabis flowers.
Remember it is the per serving individual dose that is most important, although to calculate this you will need to know how much is in the entire batch of infused butter, oil, etc. My FREE online dosing class and dosage calculator tool will help you customize any recipe in order to get the exact dosage you need.
The Most Discreet Way to Make Marijuana Infusions
Since the Ardent Nova is only about the size of a portable coffee grinder, it's handy to tuck in a bag when traveling to make edibles on the go. Even if you don't use the Nova to bake edibles (yes, you can do that), you can at minimum crate a potent infused oil you can use as a sublingual tincture. And since there is virtually no odor while decarbing or while infusing in the Ardent Nova, this method makes a discreet way to make marijuana butter, marijuana oil, and other infusions just about anywhere there is an electrical outlet. Even in your hotel room, dorm room, or with roommates who might otherwise disapprove in the house.
How to Make an Ardent Nova Infusion
When infusing in the Ardent Nova, do not put cannabis and liquids (or butter) directly in the metal inner sleeve like you do when decarboxylating. Instead use a small glass jar or bottle. My health food store sells yogurt in small glass jars that are perfect to repurpose for infusing in the Lift. Glass baby food jars work well too.
Alternately, Ardent sells a silicone sleeve (pictured below) that fits inside the Lift. This has an added advantage of allowing you to infuse a bit more volume. They also sell “infusion kits” that have everything you need, including gourmet oils and either bottles or the silicone sleeve. These make great gifts, but know that you don’t need them in order to use your Ardent Lift for infusing.
How to Infuse in the Ardent Nova: Step-by-Step (Video Demo top of this post)
1. First use the Ardent Nova to decarboxylate your cannabis. (Follow this link to learn more about decarboxylation if you don't already understand this essential process.)
2. Place your decarbed marijuana (or decarbed kief, hash, or hash oil) along with whatever you are infusing in a small jar or in the special silicone infusion sleeve available from Ardent. In order to figure out a dosage that works for you, please refer to my free online dosing class.
3. Do not cover the jar separately but do place both the purple silicone lid and black plastic lid on the Ardent Lift. Press the button to start the cycle.
4. It will take about 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the infusion cycle. I usually let it sit a while after this to cool slightly before draining and straining.
5. You can strain in a couple of ways, both are extremely easy and neat:
- Use a small sieve, placed over a clean jar. Pour melted infused cannabutter or cannabis oil into the strainer into a jar. Gently press remaining plant material to exact as much infusion as possible. Cover and chill until ready to use. Freeze for longer storage.
- Use a small pipe screen set inside a tiny funnel, you can order both from at Amazon. Place this in the mouth of a small bottle and strain your infusion directly into the bottle. The funnel, screen, and bottles are included with Ardent’s Infusion kits, along with (depending on kit) gourmet olive oils, coconut oil, and/or caramel sauces. The kits make nice gifts for anyone who owns an Ardent Lift Decarboxylator.
That’s it. You can now infuse small batches of butter, oil, honey, milk, vegan milk, cream, etc. in the same gadget that perfectly decarboxylates your cannabis. I LOVE multi-tasking kitchen gadgets. Especially ones as small as the Ardent Lift.
Do I Need a Silicone Sleeve for the Ardent Nova Lift Decarboxylator?
I ordered an infusion sleeve for my Ardent Nova Lift Decarboxylator and am waiting for it to arrive. However, while watching the video made by Ardent, it shows Shanel putting a glass bottle of oil with the herb right into the Ardent decarboxylator without a sleeve. So my question is, why wouldn't I do this? Why do I need the sleeve? I am thinking it would need to be a heat proof glass like a mini canning jar right?
You can infuse in the Nova either way, with a glass jar or in the optional silicone sleeve. I demonstrate both methods in the video above on this page.
The advantage of the sleeve is that it will hold more volume (about ¾ cup), so more often than not, I will use the sleeve.
The sleeve is also made of a great material to use when decarbing concentrates like waxes, FECO or hash oils.
That said, when you only want to infuse a very small amount, the glass jars are handy. For instance, this works well when making small batches of infusions for wrinkle serums, like I do in my DIY Marijuana Topicals and Skincare course.
Yes the glass needs to be heatproof. In the video demo on this page I am using a small jar from gourmet yogurt sold at my health food store. Small baby food jars work well too. And if you happen to buy any of Ardent’s infusion kits, be sure to save the small bottles or jars that come with them to reuse for future infusions.
Ardent Decarboxylator UPDATE!
One of my readers read this review of the Ardent Decarboxylator, bought it, and had this to say:
Thanks for the info on the Ardent decarb device. I received it yesterday and have my third batch in now . It’s obvious I have not been decarbing in the oven correctly since this is so much more potent ! I am ecstatic with this purchase even though the up front cost is expensive it will pay for itself in short order !! Thanks again Cheri for all you do
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