Decarbing • infusing • and baking all take place in one device. • It’s super discreet and you don’t need a full kitchen to made edibles. • It’s perfect for making a single edible.
Without the ability to set the temperature for the FX yourself • using non-Ardent recipes might take some guesswork. • It’s expensive — it’s worth it but it might be a bit much for someone just getting started.
If you’re a casual edible user, the Ardent FX may not be for you. But if edibles are your go-to method of cannabis consumption, this is worth the investment.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not in any way intended to provide medical advice, nor should it be used as the basis of a medical diagnosis or treatment. Results from the use of Marijuana/CBD may vary depending on the individual. The products featured here may only be legal in certain states; check your local laws before making any purchasing decisions.
Thanks to legalization efforts, consuming cannabis is more normalized every day.
But with the influx of high-tech gadgets, engineered plants, and seemingly endless ways to consume, cannabis use can be intimidating. And if you’re a baker who’s interested in getting baked, the process of making your own edibles can be overwhelming.
Like many who partake in the good bud, I’ve made edibles many times. I’m far from an avid baker — precise measurements are not my strong suit — but the few times I do bake, it’s probably infused with some weed. I’ve tempered weed-infused chocolate, baked weed sugar cookies, and even made the infamous college dorm staple: microwaved weed firecrackers.
The process of making edibles is often an all-day venture.
First, you have to decarboxylate your flower to convert the THCA present in the cannabis into THC, the molecule known to give people that signature “high” sensation. Without first heating up the raw flower, it’s unlikely you’ll experience that high at all. Traditional decarbing methods involve coarsely grinding bud and heating it at a low temperature for an extended period of time, either in the oven or by sous vide. If you’re decarbing via oven, which was my preferred method, you’d have to check on it every 15 or so minutes to make sure your weed doesn’t burn or heat unevenly.
Then, you’ll have to infuse your weed in butter, coconut oil, or another fat-based medium of your choice. This is because THC is fat soluble, which means it must be consumed with a fat for your body to break it down and induce the “high” feeling. Weed consumed through inhalation, tincture, topical, and suppository deliver THC directly to the bloodstream. The molecules in edibles, though, have to go through the digestive tract, liver, and the lymphatic system for you to feel stoned.
More experienced chefs will mix ground bud with flour, but for taste purposes I just stick to butter. Some infuse their cannabis over the stovetop, but I prefer to think about it as little as possible, so I opt for the slow cooker method. This can take anywhere from six to 12 hours depending on the weed-to-butter ratio and the desired potency. Some cannabis users let their butters infuse for up to 18 hours.
Which is where the Ardent FX comes in. The $350 device boasts decarbing, infusing, and baking abilities all in one handy appliance. Like a slow cooker or pressure cooker, the FX heats the product from all sides. It also includes four preset buttons for decarbing THC and CBD, the molecule in cannabis sought after for its potential therapeutic effects on the body, infusing, and baking.
“I saw that there were a lot of people that loved loved making edibles, but didn’t want to bring that whole process in their kitchen, or could not cook cannabis in their kitchen for whatever reason,” Ardent founder and president Shanel Lindsay explained in a phone call. “So the idea of having a device that would be able to not only decarb, but also infuse, and also bake your little edibles definitely brought together all of the things I’ve loved in my life.”
Lindsay added that as a kid, she loved kitchen appliances; for Christmas one year, she asked for a sandwich maker because the infomercials were so entertaining. She likens the FX to an Easy Bake Oven, which has enthralled children with its culinary simplicity for decades. Ardent even sells single serve cupcake mixes that, like a grown-up version of the Easy Bake Oven’s iconic powdered goods, only require water and weed. This summer, the company also published a free online cookbook of roughly two dozen recipes to make with the FX, from canna-maple syrup to infused hummus.
As someone who often reports on weed culture, hands-on research is simply part of my professional development. I was especially intrigued by the Ardent FX because I love edibles, but often only make them for special occasions and large gatherings because of how much work goes into making them. I’ll whip up a batch of something sweet and infused with weed for my annual Friendsgiving, but will rarely make any for a casual night in. And since a batch of edibles can yield so many servings, I only made them once during this pandemic since, well, I wasn’t seeing anyone except the people I live with.
In addition to the device itself, Ardent also sent me a food grade, BPA-free silicone sleeve which slides into the FX canister. The sleeve, which was designed to make cleaning up easier since the cannabis, butter, and batter never directly touches the walls of the FX, retails for $35. You can use the FX without the sleeve, but I found it made my clumsy baking much easier.
For this review, I followed Ardent’s Wake & Bake Coffee Cake recipe, and used a gram of flower. Although Ardent’s recipe calls for only a half gram, I used the full gram and doubled all the other ingredients because I had a feeling that I would somehow mess up the process and need extra.
During our call, Lindsay noted that traditional decarbing methods often take a lot of guesswork. Heating bud at a temperature a few degrees too low could fail to fully activate it. Heating bud at a temperature a few degrees too high could burn off THC, making it unviable. Either way, the imprecise nature of at-home decarboxylation can yield less potent cannabis. The FX boasts a decarb process without loss or degradation of the bud.
I don’t have a cannabis lab to test my bud’s potency before and after decarboxylation in the FX. I can, however, attest to the FX’s more pleasant, streamlined edible baking process.
The FX’s appeal for discreet edible making shines through during the infusion process. There was virtually no weed smell that’s typical associated with at-home baking, as long as the lid stayed on the canister. My roommate didn’t even notice that I was making cannabutter in the living room until I opened up the FX once the butter was finished.
The decarbing process took an hour and 45 minutes, which is longer than the process takes in a traditional oven. I didn’t have to check in on the flower at all, unlike if I had used the oven, and the decarbed cannabis wasn’t singed. I liked that I didn’t have to constantly stir the butter, either, or wait the standard six to 12 hours for it to fully infuse. The decarboxylation and infusion process took about three hours in total.
Once the infusion was done, I began on my cake batter. Ardent also sells a $25 “Frainer” — a funnel strainer — for infused butters and oils, but I just used a tea strainer. It turns out that I did need the extra batter after all, since my first attempt was disastrous at best. I managed to not only overfill the cupcake liner with batter, but also screw up the crumb topping by using melted butter instead of solid butter. The resulting unbaked cupcake looked disgusting, but it didn’t really matter because I ended up dropping the whole thing anyway while trying to maneuver the unstructured mess into the FX infusion sleeve.
Again, baking is not my strong suit.
My second attempt (I followed the instructions this time) turned out more palatable looking. Since it wasn’t overflowing with batter, it was much more structurally sound and easily slid into the infusion sleeve. If you’re attempting cupcakes using the FX, it’s worth buying both the sleeve and sturdier cupcake liners — these grocery store foil ones wouldn’t have held up without the sleeve to keep the cupcake upright. And if you’re as clumsy as I am, you’ll want to use the silicone sleeve. Scraping raw weed-infused cake batter out of the infusion sleeve was much easier than scraping batter out of the hot FX canister would have been.
With the cupcake snugly sitting in the infusion sleeve, I slid the sleeve into the FX and pressed “Bake.” Then I took a nap, because frankly, I deserved it.
When I woke up about an hour later, the FX button was flashing red, which meant that the cycle was complete. I pulled the infusion sleeve out, and a perfectly golden brown coffee cake cupcake slid out with it. It didn’t smell too weed-y, and it didn’t have the distinctly herbal taste that many at-home edibles tend to have. While I could definitely taste the weed, it didn’t have an aftertaste like most edibles do. It was pleasantly sweet, though it did have a chewy texture that reminded me of slow cooker cakes.
The recipe notes that this cake should be about 75mg of THC. I have no way of testing that, but as someone who has a tendency to end up couch locked with edibles, I wanted to play it safe, so I split the cake with a friend. While we both felt gently euphoric and much less tense, neither of us felt too high to function — I was still able to bleach and dye her hair after having half the cake.
It’s worth noting that retail edibles, which tend to invoke more intense highs for me personally, clock in at around 10 mg. I’m relatively sensitive to dispensary-bought edibles like gummies and chocolates, but it’s possible that my home-baked good was less potent than the recipe estimated because of human error. That being said, if you’re new to edibles start very low and take it very slow. It’s also always a good idea to have a sober guide help you through your experience.
I appreciated that the baking process, while messy for me personally, took so much less effort and attention than traditional edible baking. I didn’t have to repeatedly check on the product through decarboxylation, infusion, or baking. I loved that I could pop ingredients in and go about my day without needing to hover to make sure it wasn’t burning on an oven pan or sticking to the sides of my slow cooker. And most of all, I liked that I could make a single fresh edible and not need to worry about the rest going stale in my freezer.
FX users can also decarb and infuse in the FX, and then bake their goods in a traditional oven or on the stove, for more flexibility with recipes.
Overall, I’d recommend the FX to all frequent and experienced cannabis users. The cost may not be worth it if you prefer other methods of consuming weed over edibles, or if you’re just getting started and haven’t figured out what your favorite consumption method is.
As someone who’s spent the better part of the last five years dabbling in cannabis use, I’ve figured out that I enjoy vaping and edibles best, but tend to use the former more often because of the sheer amount of work that edibles take. While there are plenty of retail options for weed consumption in a recreationally legal state like California, I love a good home-baked edible. The FX is the perfect device for a low-effort night in.
WATCH: How to bake CBD-infused chocolate chip cookies