I recently got my hands on the Nebula Boost, a cannabis decarboxylation device (also known as a cannabis decarboxylator).
The purpose of this unit is to heat buds to remove the carboxyl group, as cannabinoids contained within the trichomes of raw cannabis flowers have an extra carboxyl ring or group (COOH) attached to their chain.
This means, when cooking with cannabis, you should decarb your bud first.
Enter the Nebula Boost!
This desk/kitchen top device is effectively a small, silent oven. It comes with four pieces which fit together so easily I didn’t even need to check the manual (although it is good to read this for infusion temps, safety tips and time suggestions)
I like the Nebula Boost’s flexibility, allowing me to control both time and temperature right out the box. However, I don’t work well in Fahrenheit, so I had to do a quick conversion to understand the temperature.
I believe you can set the temp to Celcius on the nebula boost, but as this only lasts until the unit is reset, there is little point using this setting in my opinion.
250 Farenheight = 121 Celcius
116 Celcius = 240.8 Farenheight
I first ran a programme of 116 Celcius for 1 hour to mimic the traditional oven-decarboxylation method, using unground Stardawg buds. This yielded darker buds, which was expected, but I think I could have improved the process by grinding the material to increase the surface area.
My second decarboxylation run used the guidelines from the instruction manual – 250 degrees Farenheight for 1:30. This yielded slightly darker buds than the previous run, which translated into a greener hue in the final product once infused. Out of the two, I think this was the more effective decarboxylation.
Vipertech, the British company who make the Nebula Boost, also sell an infusion cup which you can add to give this device an extra function. You can use any glass, silicone or ceramic dish inside the boost if you prefer, but the exact size and shape of the infusion cup make it the best for the machine, so I’m happy I got one of these as well for infusion.
To use the Nebula Boost as an infuser, I simply ran the programme again after adding my coconut oil (you can use your own edible oil/butter of choice) and my decarboxylated bud the silicone cup and placing that back into the Nebula Boost.
A website I found, run by an edibles chef, recommended an infusion time of 2 hours at 72 degrees Celcius, so that is what I did.
I found that the cannabis I had initially decarboxylated with the Nebula Boost for 1 hour on 116 Celcius looked golden and delicious, but then cooled and solidified without much colour.
However, the bud I had decarboxylated using the Nebula Boost instruction manual guidelines came out darker and solidified into canna-coconut oil’s familiar green hue.
I ran another infusion for 2:30 at the same temperature, using the already once used material from runs one and two, and this oil came out a lovely colour.
Overall, I think the longer infusion worked well, and a second infusion did not hurt either, as it meant I had extra infused oil for baking.
Just to tie things off, I ran the infusion programme with some AVB (already vaped bud) which had been decarboxylated by a vaporiser and ground up – so it wasn’t ‘good’ starting material. This came out very dark, and clearly infused the oil, with the AVB taste coming through too. This last run was suitable for capsules, but not for cooking with!
I was impressed with the ease of use of the Nebula Boost. Another significant advantage of this machine is that the unit seals shut, stopping the cannabis decarboxylation/infusion aroma that can easily permeate your house using the oven/hob method.
There were somethings that could be improved in the Nebula Boost, such as the temp settings being in Farenheight by default, and also that you can also set a programme for 4 hours when the manual says not to leave on for longer than 2:30 before allowing the unit to cool. I would also wash the silicone infusion cup thoroughly before first use, as it didn’t feel like it had a medical-grade clean beforehand.
The Nebula Boost retails at £159.99 on their website which you can find here. To celebrate the launch of our video review, they have also launched a Nebula Boost prize competition on facebook to win one. Good luck!
I think it is a good bit of kit, love the ease of use, and cannot see myself going back to using the oven for decarboxylation.