Ardent Lift Home Decarb Appliance Review
By Mat Lee
There’s an awful lot of information, both correct and incorrect when it comes to how to properly decarboxylate cannabis for use in making edibles. If baking or cooking with cannabis is something you are familiar with, the Ardent Lift might be your next cannabis kitchen appliance.
Everyone who is into the art of cannabis cooking has their own fancy way of decarboxylating cannabis flower before the material is mixed into the recipe. Unless you are actually getting your material, and your edibles testing by a lab for potency, you can really only make rough estimates and assumptions about the potency of the end product.
The Ardent Lift is supposed to take a lot of the guesswork out of the decarboxylation portion of creating cannabis edibles. A set it and forget it sort of thing. I should point out that on their website it says something about the Lift making people experts in making infused topicals.
While I definitely don’t agree with that statement, as it takes a lot of practice and some good lab equipment to start even thinking about being an expert. I also understand that it’s a website used for marketing a product, so I don’t want to be overly critical of the verbiage. I just wanted to say that we shouldn’t belittle something people spend a lot of time and money to perfect for the sake of marketing speak.
That being said, for the basic at home individual that wants an easier way to decarboxylate their cannabis, I think this is a good choice. It’s super simple to use, and has a small footprint in your kitchen. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m decarbing some flower for the review video. The price, at least for pre orders is at $190.00, and should start shipping to the public around the beginning of November.
When I first opened the Ardent Lift, I noticed a pretty strong smell coming out of the unit. If you are the kind of person that is super worried about cross contamination in your end product, it might be a good idea to wipe out the Lift first. I didn’t go all the way and use Isopropyl Alcohol, but I did take the metal container, the silicone lid, and the plastic lid to the sink for a water wash. I didn’t notice any metal grease or anything when I wiped it out, so it might just have been from the factory. Best to play it safe. I think it’s coming from the silicone they use for the lid. I should say that I got a pre release unit, so the end product you receive might be a little more polished so to speak.
You won’t need to grind up your weed either, which is cool. Although if you are making something like capsules you can choose to pre grind the cannabis beforehand, or grind it up after the fact. For my review, I just put in whole buds. A blend of AK 47 and Mendo Breath to be exact. The Ardent Lift is designed to hold up to 14 grams, although they do say in the manual not to jam the material in too tight. This will most likely decrease the efficiency of the decarboxylation process and you will end up with a weaker product in the end. I think just fit in whatever you can without packing it. Ten grams of the AK 47 fit with plenty of room for more. Although in hindsight, it is probably best to take the stems out, and grind the herb up, otherwise you’ll be chewing on stems and buds in your finished product.
It’s super simple to use, which I like, especially for our new cannabis enthusiasts. They don’t want to tinker with their kitchen ovens and do experiment after experiment wasting cannabis to find the optimal decarb temperature and time. With the Ardent Lift, they don’t have to. Simply unscrew the black lid, remove the silicone cover, and take out the metal can that’s inside. Fill that can up with as much, or as little weed as you like, up to 14 grams, put the silicone lid back on the metal can, put the can back in the Lift, and put the plastic cap back on. Press the button so that it changes from green to red, and you are good to go.
The complete cycle takes anywhere from an hour and 40 minutes to two hours. There are sensors inside and a special algorithm that monitors the temperature and heating cycles in real time. It should also be noted that in the manual they make an extra point to say that while the Lift is doing it’s thing, you shouldn’t mess with it. Don’t open it while it’s working. If you need to stop the process for any reason, first hold the button down for ten seconds. The light will then turn green and it will be ok to open it. Also keep in mind the device will get pretty hot. It usually takes temperatures between 200 to 250 degrees F to start the decarb process.
If you are wondering what decarboxylation means, the quick version is this. Cannabis is mostly THCA. As the cannabis ages, or heat is applied, decarboxylation happens. The THCA is turned into THC. THC A is not psychoactive when you ingest it, but THC is. THC is also metabolized into 11-hydroxy-THC, which is a different molecule altogether, and is responsible for the more intense body high associated with eating edibles. This is obviously a super shortened version of the process, but it should give you an idea of what’s going on inside the Ardent Lift. It’s turning the THCA into THC by heating it up.
Overall, I think the Ardent Lift is a fantastic product, especially for those people in medical marijuana states that make edibles a pain in the ass to get. Not everyone can decarb weed properly, but with the Ardent Lift, even our senior patients will be decarbing with minimal hassle. It’s definitely not something you would see in a lab setting or anything that will let you mass produce decarboxylated cannabis, but for the at home individual that wants to cook with a little weed, it’s perfect. Definitely stuff stoners like.