Ardent FX Review | Making Edibles with the Ardent FX Decarboxylator
The Ardent FX (Flex) is a three in one, Decarboxylator, Infuser and Oven, which is great for making your own edibles, tinctures and topicals in an easy to use apparatus optimized for this type of extraction and infusion.
The Ardent FX is a rather bulky kitchen appliance. It comes in a cylindrical cardboard container which is 17 inches in height. Upon opening you will notice that the device is only three main pieces: Ardent FX, Power Dock and Carry Case.
The carry case is very nice and made me think to myself to throw out this bulky cardboard container and just use the case. I was also wondering where my directions were. Ardent steers you to register your device online and makes you do this before you get instructions. This also ensures you get a better understanding of your device and what not to do before you get going.
Ardent FX Dimensions & Specs
|Weight||2 lbs. 11 oz.|
|Dimensions||11 x 7 in.|
|Decarb & Infusion Cycles||Varies Between 2-3 Hours|
The Ardent FX feels both sturdy and lightweight at the same time and with a larger cavity than the original Ardent Nova, you can decarboxylate up to 4 ounces of plants in one session or as little as a gram if you wish. This makes it perfect for industrial grade use or for the hobbyist making some CBD gummies on a Sunday.
For our small batch of gummies we started small with a gram of flower.
The first step is always going to be the decarboxylation. Decarboxylation is essential to release the cannabinoid (THC,CBG,CBD) potential of your flower. Skipping straight to infusion will cause your end product to only contain 25% of the active cannabinoids.
When using a vaporizer or smoking, your herb will be heated to a temperature so hot it will decarboxylate immediately. However when preparing your cannabis or CBD flower for edibles you must decarb for a longer time at a lower temperature to convert the THCA strain into THC. This is the reason if you eat raw buds nothing will happen. Decarboxylation will begin at 225 °F after about 30 minutes and the Ardent FX will fully decarboxylate in around 2-3 hours. The FX uses the lowest possible temperature setting in their decarb heating algorithm and an airtight container to ensure terpenes do not escape during decarb.
The Ardent FX has two proprietary settings which let you prepare your herbs for specialty applications
- A1 – this setting lets you decarb for your CBG and THC
- A2 – this setting lets you decarb for optimizing your CBD
At the end of the A1 or A2 decarboxylation cycles the FX’s power button will flash red letting you know the cool down process has started. With our gram of flower, the red light did never stop blinking. It was a total of three hours before we just said screw it and went to the next step, knowing the decarb had to have taken place over three hours.
Infusion is the next step after decarboxylation and is how you infuse your now activated cannabinoids into your oils, butters or creams. Here we are going to take one ounce of coconut oil to our one gram of decarboxylated flowers. (Our CBD flowers had 23.5% CBD so our infused coconut oil is 235mg/G)
While grinding is not essential before infusion, we say it will give an optimal infusion, and if you buy an Ardent FX you should probably pick up an herb grinder if you do not have one already.
The Ardent FX will infuse up to 3 hours at 176°F . Ardent recommends infusing for at least 90 minutes, but in the spirit of set it and forget it we left it all night.
Once the infusion process is done you can strain your fats from your plant material or leave it in there and start a baking cycle (if you enjoy the herb particles in your edibles). For our gummies we used the Ardent FX infusion Press which does not come included with your purchase of an Ardent FX. At $50 it’s way too pricey and you will be better off just using a home strainer unless you are going to be making edibles with the FX daily.
Once we stained out our CBD oil we were totally done with the Ardent FX and moved on to the stove. However we could have continued with the Ardent for making our gummy solution with the bake function.
While the bake function is good, most edibles are more efficiently baked above 300 °F (the Ardent FX max temp). Also you have one cavity to bake it, so while the Ardent FX provides ample room for decarboxylation and infusion, baking is another ball game and you are limited to what you can make in the Ardent FX. For example we did Cannabutter for some cookie dough, the cookies would need ample space in an oven to bake otherwise you would just be having a giant glob of cookie cake if you used the Ardent FX for all the steps to make your edibles. Another recipe Ardent gives you is noodles. If using the Ardent FX this would take an hour to boil, whereas the stove top would take 15 minutes.
Ardent FX Impressions
There was alot I liked about the Ardent FX and alot I thought needed to be refined for a $350 kitchen appliance.
For starters the decarboxylation should beep or let me know when the cool down is finished. In using this thing I have learned that patience is a virtue and to put my flower in for decarb and just come back in a few hours. Same goes for infusing. If the Ardent FX is such a dialed in Decarboxylator and Infuser why am I told a certain step takes between 2-3 hours ? Why doesn’t the device let me know ?
The bake function is something I never see myself using. If you are going to be in a dorm room or do not have access to a kitchen in an RV, then the bake function is going to be more fitting and you can even use it for normal everyday cooking. However if you are a world renowned amateur chef like myself 😉 then you just need the FX to decarb and infuse.
The proprietary algorithms for decarb are quite nice, with two different settings that have been scientifically proven and tested to optimize my cannabinoids. The large body of the FX also make it nice knowing if I want to decarb a whole bunch of flowers for a huge batch of butter or oil I can do that as well. It’s nice having a designated Infuser for making edibles and you bet it has been seeing plenty of use.
I do love how easy the Ardent FX is to use and clean. Once you run your maiden voyage, you will see how easy it is to press a button and wait it out until the next step, then throw in the dishwasher and voila. In the week using it, we were able to make control dosed infused Coconut Oil, Olive Oil and Butter. All were hassle free to make and the Ardent FX provides a great apparatus to handle all my elevated cooking without needing to worry about cross contaminating into the household pots and pans.
There are more economical options and the Ardent FX is going to be better suited for your edibles chef or someone who is decarboxylating large quantities of flower on a regular basis. This is the most dialed in and precise Infusion machine for edibles, but if you are only an occasional connoisseur then save yourself $350 and use the Crock Pot.