Ardent Nova 2019 Review: First Impressions

nova decarboxylator coupon code

We’re doing things a little differently here at Wake and Bake today – you’re hearing from Fiona, also known as “Corinne’s Assistant” 🙂 Corinne recently sent me an Ardent Nova and Magical Butter MB2, since she heard I’m still using the good ol’ pyrex-foil-oven-crockpot method to make my infusions. Here are my initial reactions to the Ardent Nova.

Unboxing the Ardent Nova

As someone who hates putting things together and reading instructions, I was ecstatic to unbox the Nova and find it fully assembled. 

There’s only one button, on the bottom, which is the on/off switch.

No messing with temperatures. No fiddling around with different settings.

The Ardent Nova tickles my minimalist side for sure.

The decarb device stands at roughly 7 inches tall (17.78cm) and 4.5 inches wide (11.43cm) which means if I decided to travel, I can easily bring the Nova with me.

Aesthetically, I appreciate how inconspicuous the Nova is. The body of the machine is a solid purple, with a black base and black top.

The Ardent Nova machine first look

There’s no obnoxious branding or even a hint to what the machine could be used for.

The serial number, make, and model are all labeled on the bottom of the Nova.

Overall, I can leave it on my countertop or tuck it away in my botanicals cabinet and no one would be the wiser to what this elegantly designed kitchen tool is for.

My First Decarb using the Ardent Nova

It’s beautiful and all… but how does it fare versus the trusty pyrex-foil-oven method?

I put the “cup” part of the Nova and the silicone cap into my dishwasher to give it a good rinse. After the parts were dry, I decided to test drive it.

(The “cup” is removable, along with the cap. You wouldn’t put the whole device into the dishwasher). 

I scored 5 grams of trim (yes, 5 grams, everyone makes fun of me because I’m out of touch with “weed measurements”) and put it into the “cup.”

I put the cup back into the Nova, placed the purple silicone cap, and secured it with the black top.

As instructed, I plugged the Nova into my outlet, pressed start, and walked away.

The button turned from green to red.

The first time I used the Nova, I noticed there was a strange smell coming from the device. Corinne didn’t deal with this issue, so I assumed (correctly) that I didn’t wash the cup and silicone cap thoroughly enough before I decarbed my trim.

Sadly, the first batch came out smelling a little like burnt hair (my fault) and the edibles were difficult to stomach.

I tossed the metal cup and silicone cap into the dishwasher for a few more cycles (as I did the rest of my dishes) and my next batches came out PERFECT.

Caveat: The Ardent Nova isn’t completely odorless… it’s comparable to decarbing in the oven. I secured the cap and top every time but there was still a delicious, earthy weed smell throughout my house. 

After the first Decarb using Ardent Nova

The Nova made a little sound, alerting me that the Nova has finished its decarb process. 

The button turned back to green.

The nice part is that the whole device was warm to the touch, but it wasn’t hot.

I felt zero risk of potentially burning myself, my kids, or my pets if any of them were to accidentally touch the machine.

(From a cannabis-loving parent to Ardent, THANK YOU for making this device family friendly!)

Making First Edibles

My first batch of edibles (cupcakes) from the improperly cleaned Ardent Nova was horrible. It tasted like how it smelled – like burnt hair. I managed to salvage it with a crapton of cream cheese frosting.

However, my next few batches of oils and butter came out so amazingly that my friends demanded I allow them to use my Nova and Magical Butter MB2 in the future.

Who knows, I might end up teaching a few cannabis workshops in my kitchen!

Troubleshooting the Ardent Nova 

The only issue I saw with the Ardent Nova was my error in not cleaning it properly before using it. It seems like very few people shared my problem.

When I emailed Ardent about it, they mentioned that since the Nova saves more THC, I may be smelling the terpenes rather than rubber.

Fair enough!

With my other batches, I tested the Ardent Nova with a much smaller amount of bud. I worked with only 1 gram, so I don’t waste a more bud than I need to, in case things went sideways again.

These times, the smell was still strong but there was no longer a “burnt hair” stench.

I threw everything into my Magical Butter MB2 and made a small batch of cheesecake cookies. I started with only three cookies so I could test for flavor, potency, and if there was any weird aftertaste. 

Edibles are notorious for leaving a “filmy texture” in your mouth and I’d like to avoid that.

The cookies came out great. A less experienced friend mentioned that he could taste a little bit of herb in the cookies, but otherwise, it was an enjoyable experience for everyone. I decarbed the rest of my bud using the Ardent Nova and baked two dozen cookies for a friend that ended up loving them.

Crisis avoided!

Cleaning the Ardent Nova

The cleaning process is fairly straightforward. I run the metal cup and silicone cap through the dishwasher (though do NOT put any other parts in the dishwasher!) and clean the rest with a damp cloth.

Make sure you dry the metal parts thoroughly to prevent any rusting. This thing isn’t cheap so take care of it to increase its lifespan ☺️

Final Thoughts on the Ardent Nova

With the oven, I always worry that my oven isn’t working evenly (I’m sure you know the struggle unless you have a really nice, fancy oven) or it’s hotter/cooler than it says. Some days, I decarb for 45 minutes and other days it seems like I need to move up to 1 hour and 15 minutes (especially when I eyeball it and some of my buds look pretty green). 

I don’t think I’m ever going back to the pyrex-foil-oven method unless I really have to. It’s TOO EASY to measure my flowers, toss it into my Nova, and press “on.” There’s no anxiety surrounding whether I’ve effectively decarbed or not and there also isn’t the concern that my oven is burning off too much THC.

Fact: Your oven can burn off up to 33% of your THC during the decarb phase 🙁

The Ardent Nova strives to save you as close to 100% of your THC as possible.

I will say that the Ardent Nova is advertised as “odorless” and for me, I would not call it odorless. I’ve also read other online reviews saying that the main gripe is how much the Ardent Nova can smell. So if you’re living in an apartment with neighbors that will rain hellfire on you if you stink up the place, I wouldn’t look to the Nova as a completely “odorless” alternative. 

Luckily, I’m in the middle of the woods and my chickens probably won’t complain about the smell any time soon.

Pro’s:

  • Decarbs my buds in a controlled environment. Eliminated the need to babysit an oven or any sort of anxiety for temperature control.
  • Pairs perfectly with the Magical Butter MB2 machine. Decarb in one. Infuse in the other. What took me 24 hours to do now takes 3 hours, including cleanup!
  • Easy to clean. Toss the silicone top in the dishwasher and rinse off the metal cup. Clean the rest with a damp cloth.
  • Inconspicuous. No one is the wiser as to what the Ardent Nova is used for.
  • No installation or set-up needed.
  • No grinding needed. Just throw the buds or trim straight into the Nova.
  • Safe to the touch, even when in use. The outside gets warm but never hot making it safe in the presence of pets and children.
  • At first glance, I thought it was too expensive, but after making a few edibles, I realized I needed less to achieve my desired results. I guess it really does save THC.
  • I previously smoked instead of dosing through edibles or coconut oil. I could go through “an eighth” (3.5 grams) in a week 🙁 By using the Nova and Magical Butter MB, I either take edibles or put some infused coconut oil under my tongue and “an eighth” can last me the whole month!! Talk about saving money.

Cons:

  • Needed to run through several dishwasher cycles to eliminate the silicone smell.
  • It smells like botanicals 🙂
  • I put this as a pro, but I’ll throw it in the con’s as well. It’s a pricey one-time purchase, which can be seen as a negative. However, it did save me money in the long run since I’m not smoking as much as I used to.

Who should buy the Ardent Nova?

Here at Wake and Bake, you can purchase an Ardent Nova, but it’s not for everyone. Since the focus is making sure you are good, well, and healthy, let’s go over who would benefit from the Ardent Nova.

If you’ve never made edibles before but would like to start, though you’re hesitant about where to begin, I wouldn’t recommend taking an immediate plunge into buying expensive kitchen supplies.

Taking edibles and tinctures is not like smoking. It’s not as “immediate” and you can easily dose too high or too low. (Talk shit about your edibles not working and they’ll come banging on your door when you least expect it!) 

Try edibles first (I’d recommend homemade stuff or trying a recipe from Wake and Bake, instead of buying sugar filled crap at dispensaries). See if you enjoy the different feeling that edibles offer and also ask yourself if you’d be interested in making your own in the long term. There’s no shame in going with the oven and crock pot method first and picking up the Arden Nova later.

If you’ve already embarked on your wellness journey and are considering the Ardent Nova, here are some reasons I’d recommend it:

  • You are smoking your buds and it’s too expensive to upkeep. You need a cheaper way to stretch your herbs.
  • Your oven isn’t reliable, doesn’t burn evenly, and you’re tired of anxiously babysitting it.
  • You want to start selling edibles.
  • You are decarbing mass amounts of bud.
  • You’re a traveler and don’t always have access to an oven.
  • You’ve been seriously thinking about getting one for a while and your gut is saying, “It’s time.”

I hope you enjoyed this first look into the Ardent Nova. This is my straight up, unbiased review and first impressions of using the Ardent Nova to decarb my buds. If you have any questions about the Nova, leave a comment on this post!

P.S. Be sure to check out the Magical Butter MB2 first look post as well 🙂

You can purchase an Ardent Nova by clicking here.

Little caveat: Due to where I live, I work with federally legal CBD buds that contain trace amounts of THC. However, you can absolutely use THC heavy material in your own decarb!

Thank you for supporting this site with purchases made through links in this article.

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Wendy E King
    August 26, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    I have had my Nova Lift Decarboxylator for about 2 years now. Never had a problem with smelling like rubber or burnt hair. Always just lovely cannabis. You can still smoke it after its been fully activated in the Nova. check out their website for all the ways you can use decarbed flower. You can make infused oils right in the Nova. Ardent has lots of videos and guides on how to do this. Pretty sure its supposed to be hand washed.
    This machine was a life changer for me and a I treasure it.

  • Reply
    Albert
    August 26, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    Fiona, enjoyed reading about your Ardent experience. Mine was a little different. After washing the cup and using the machine, the only smell I noticed was when I opened the cooled container. My only thought, needs to be a bigger version.

    Great read…

  • Reply
    Karl
    September 13, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    I’m going back to the oven because I’ve had 2 Novas fail… OK, I dropped one, but the other was only used a few times and now it won’t produce any heat… too expensive for the longevity.

  • Reply
    Janne Jons
    October 1, 2019 at 11:02 am

    Love my Nova. I do everything in it! Decarb and infusion.

  • Reply
    James Young
    October 28, 2019 at 9:51 am

    No power Where to repair or replace?

  • Reply
    Brian
    November 13, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    I jumped into the game all cards in. Meaning I purchased the Nova, and the Infusion machine(like magical butter machine) I loved how easy to de-card. First time I tried the oven using exterior temp gauge, I burned up 28 grams of high quality bud. I was bummed. With new machines it is a breeze. I wish there was an easier way to squeeze the butter from the mash. But not too big a problem.

    • Reply
      Corinne
      November 30, 2019 at 2:54 am

      Someone mentioned using a french press and I’ve pressed my cheesecloth satchel with a potato ricer in the past. Get creative 😉

      xoxo,
      Corinne

  • Reply
    Paulen
    November 13, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Love the Nova and the decarb. My issue is with my LEVO. It never feeds back my product. I contacted them when I got it and they recommended doing it again. It should drip nicely into receiving container. I’ve done it again, and again, and again. too much money to send it back so I’m out. pooh .

    • Reply
      Corinne
      November 30, 2019 at 2:53 am

      Is it the Levo 1? I know they fixed this issue with the levo 2, but I had the same problem with the first machine.

      xoxo,
      Corinne

  • Reply
    Gina
    November 13, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    Can’t you also infuse in the Nova with the additional purchase of the sleeve? If I’m going to invest in something, I would like it to do multiple things.

    • Reply
      Corinne
      November 30, 2019 at 2:52 am

      Yes! If you’re going to do small amounts, you can invest in the Nova and the sleeve and do both.

      xoxo,
      Corinne

  • Reply
    Katherine Duchette
    November 14, 2019 at 7:18 am

    I agree with the size request!

  • Reply
    jeffrey j. schaefer
    November 15, 2019 at 2:05 pm

    You should contact Ardent. They are a very responsible company.

  • Reply
    jeffrey
    November 15, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Using the Ardent Nova is the best way to get the most value from hour herb purchase. I’ve used it for over a year now and have had excellent results. We finally have a way to invest in one product that does both decarbing and infusing. Thanks to Corrine Tobias for sharing this very important info, which allows others to follow her recipes and suggestions with ease.

  • Reply
    Angela NelsonMcBride
    November 20, 2019 at 1:49 pm

    I’m a new Nova user. I did not wash anything. I’ve had ZERO cons. No smell other than putting my nose to the cup when decarbing was finished. I wish the cup was a little bigger. Something between the minimal amount in the MB machine and the Nova cup would be outstanding, but at the price, I won’t be buying (nor do I need to) anything else.
    Works great & no one’s catching oven vapors

  • Reply
    alan d. graham
    December 1, 2019 at 10:34 am

    The Marijuana Mommy mentioned that once you decarb your product you can just eat it dry without actually fat-infusing it because the THC has been activated. Does eating the decarbed herb give you the same (or close to the same) intense “Bang-per-Buck” as you get using the Fat-infused method? I really want to just eat the decarbed herb (No fat involved) but not if that wastes the THC….the stuff is too expensive to not get the full effect. Thanks for your answer.

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