Edibles are an increasingly popular way for people to enjoy the effects of cannabinoids like THC. Yet, because people often respond differently to edibles than other methods of enjoying marijuana, many cannabis enthusiasts have increasingly turned to homemade edibles rather than buying them directly from dispensaries. Making your own cannabis-infused foods allows you to control the product’s potency and flavor, and it is a fun hobby for many home cooks.
However, some people are frustrated by the process of making homemade edibles because it can be complicated and messy without the right tools, and the infusion process can lead to unpleasant odors. Fortunately, several devices on the market make the infusion process far more manageable. Two companies that produce popular infusion machines are LĒVO and Hi Herbal Infuser.
While both companies make machines that streamline the infusion process, they differ significantly. Here, we explore how they compare and important considerations to factor into a decision to purchase one.
What Is Infusion?
Understanding the steps involved in the infusion process will allow us to determine which machine is superior – LĒVO or Hi Herbal Infuser. Infusion is a process that allows the transfer of the active ingredients in marijuana, such as THC and CBD, into butters, oils, or honeys that can be used in baking or cooking. This process includes four steps:
- Drying – The first step of the infusion process is to ensure that your bud is dry. Fresh weed has a very high chlorophyll content, making your edibles taste grassy if not adequately dried. Traditionally, drying involves hanging the plant upside down and allowing it to dehydrate over time on its own. It is also possible to use a dedicated food dehydrator for this purpose.
- Decarboxylation – After drying, the cannabis plant needs to be decarboxylated or “decarbed” to activate the cannabinoids. Without this step, the flower will not have its desired effects. Decarbing is often done by placing the flower in the oven at about 230° for 30 min. The problem with this method is that it creates a strong odor of cannabis. Furthermore, it can be easy to accidentally burn the bud if it is left in the oven for too long or at too high a temperature.
- Infusion – Infusion itself happens by allowing the weed to marinate in the butter or oil at a warm temperature over time. Traditionally, this is done in a saucepan on the stovetop. As with decarbing in the oven, infusing on the stovetop can createsplatters, is a fire hazard if the heat is up too high, and is smelly – which is not ideal if you are looking to infuse discreetly.
- Straining – The final step in the process is to strain the plant out of the oil or butter. This is often done using a funnel, cheesecloth, and gloves which can lead to a lot of mess and a good deal of wasted butter.
How Do LĒVO Machines Work?
LĒVO has three different machines that make the entire infusion process far more efficient, simple, and tidy.
The LĒVO II and LĒVO Lux are equipped with drying cycles that use built-in fans that circulate warm air around fresh cannabis to reduce the moisture content. This also helps to extend the shelf life of the infusion and the edibles you make with it. This process is done in the same pods where the bud will be activated and infused. The built-in drying capabilities of the LĒVO machines ensure more of the chlorophyll is removed so that your end product will have a nice taste.
LĒVO II, LĒVO C, and LĒVO Lux also have “activate” cycles, which serve the purpose of decarbing your weed. One particular strength of this mode is that it allows you to decarb at a temperature of your choice, which gives you control over whether you are activating to extract TCH, CBD, or other cannabinoids. All three LĒVO machines are equipped to decarb your cannabis to achieve optimum potency.
When it comes to infusion itself, LĒVO is a cut above the rest. Its infuse cycle allows you to customize the time and temperature of the infusion process to calibrate your infusion specifically for butter, honey, milk, and all different oils. Furthermore, LĒVO machines use gentle stirring without adding air to the liquid during the infusion process to ensure an even distribution of the plant’s cannabinoids and prevent pulverized flower pieces from being left in your infused product.
Finally, LĒVO makes the filtering process as simple as can be. LĒVO’s filters are built right into the machine. When the infusion is done, the butter or oil releases into a jar or container of your choice via a dispenser with the push of a button. You do not need to use any additional tools. This means there’s no mess, no fuss. The parts of the machine involved in the infusion process are dishwasher safe, so cleanup is even simpler.
The Herbal Infuser: How Does It Compare?
While the Herbal Infuser does indeed infuse cannabutter and cannaoil, it leaves a lot to be desired.
First, the Herbal Infuser does not have any capacity to dry or decarb your bud. You will have to use a dehydrator and activate your flower in the oven, which will mean extra cleanup time and some lingering odors in your home.
Second, the Hi Herbal Infuser uses a system of blades, like a built-in immersion blender, to pulverize and chop your weed as it infuses. This will lead to a lot of unwanted plant debris in your finished product, resulting in the unpleasant grassy taste of chlorophyll in your edibles. Some people find that they get a stomach ache with too much cannabis chlorophyll, too.
Finally, the Herbal Infuser does not have a built-in filter. This means that you will need to filter your butter or oil by hand using a bulty silicone glove, strainer bag, and metal strainer – which is not only messy but also potentially dangerous due to the heat of the butter, which must be filtered while it is liquified.
The Herbal Infuser may be slightly less expensive than LĒVO machines, but the added complexity and messiness of the process hardly make it a bargain in comparison.
The Bottom Line
LĒVO’s patented 3-in-1 Dry, Activate, Infuse technology makes the infusion more accessible, less wasteful, and more customizable than the process of the Herbal Infuser. Furthermore, LĒVO’s streamlined process leads to delicious end products that are free of any grassy taste and have an even distribution of cannabinoids throughout. At every step of the infusion process, LĒVO’s machines are simply a cut above the competition.