There are things about the old days worth reminiscing about: a time when cell phones were just a way to stay up late texting your crush and not a highway for trackers and relentless pings, for one. Maybe you miss the days when a game cartridge packed the whole story and everything you needed to duke it out with your friends on a Saturday morning—no DLC required—despite the added labor of having to blow out some dust every now and then.
But gone are the days of relying on joints, bongs, and their frequent partner, harsh coughing fits. There’s no shortage of alternatives, with options ranging from vaporizers, tablets, to the delectable favorite, edibles, which can be anything from a brownie to a gummy worm or two. These options, especially tablets and edibles, are especially important right now as we’re dealing with a respiratory virus that’s spread across the world, and taking care of our lungs is more important than ever.
Typically, you could just run down to the dispensary and pick up a couple gummies, but you shouldn’t be going out more than necessary right now. Even if that weren’t the case, they’re in short supply at lots of dispensaries right now, anyways. There are lots of ways to make edibles totally from scratch, but making the oil can be a pain, and honestly, every time I’ve thought about doing it, reading through the process is enough to deter my ADHD brain.
Luckily, there’s plenty of gadgets and gizmos meant for people like me who will get all heart-eyed at any opportunity to cut corners and give myself less work. The Levo II, a fancy oil infuser, is precisely that sort of gadget.
Standing at about 13″ tall, and sold in an assortment of fun colors, the Levo II, looks less like a stoner’s tool suited for the Mystery Machine and more like a traditional kitchen gadget you’d use for brewing a quick cup of coffee. Despite its mellowing results, the Levo has about as many settings and options as your standard coffeemaker, with three basic modes: Dry, Activate, and Infuse. Your needs will vary depending on what sorts of infusions you’re trying to do and what herbs you’re using, but for your standard cannabinoid infusion (I used coconut oil in my testing), you’ll need to go through all three steps.
One of the benefits of doing your own infusions, especially when you’re dealing edibles and the oft-feared intense trip from ingesting too much, is that you have more control over the dosage. Levo has a handy calculator on its site that can help figure out how to get the right dosage for each serving. It’s a pretty nifty tool, and it’ll even tell you the proper temperature and duration, based on your herb and oil combination. The tricky part here, in my experience, is predicting just how many gummies your batch is going to make, but you can always retroactively do the math (pre-ingestion, please).
Setup only takes a few minutes, and placing the parts in the right place isn’t tricky as long as you follow the graphics (they’re simple). Once you’ve got all that set, and you’ve got your dosage just right, you’ll start with the Dry cycle, which took a little over two hours for me, followed by the Activate cycle, which helps make sure your oil’s as potent as can be, but you can skip this step. After that, you’ll drop in your oil, and let the Infuse cycle do its thing.
The only downside to all of this is that your place is gonna reek for a couple hours. It’s not the That 70’s Show-style hotbox stench you might be thinking of, though. It’s more akin to a toasted smell with hints of weed sprinkled in. Still, my dad, who’s been generous enough to host me in quarantine, definitely noticed.
Graphic: Gabe Carey
The whole process, though time-consuming, isn’t too labor-intensive. But once you’re done, you’ll still have to do something with the infused oil. You could toss it into some baked goods, mix it together with butter for a nice spread, or go the gummy route, like I did.
Here’s where things get tricky. The Levo II, on its own, is a great product, and it’s super simple to get started. The edibles I made were tasty and effective, and the process didn’t take too long once the actual infusion was taken care of. But once you factor in the price of $250, plus the cost of your flower, and any essentials you’ll need to make the edibles, it might not end up actually being cheaper than hopping over to the dispensary and getting something pre-made.
That said, if you grow your own supply, edibles are fresh outta stock, or you want a little more control over your dosages, the Levo II is a simple, pleasant way to get your herbs into all your favorite treats.