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A butter churn for the cannabis set 

Think making ganja butter has to be a smelly, messy job? Our weed reviewer trys out a device that promises to do away with those annoyances.

I've been making cannabis-infused edibles for friends and patients for 25 years, and it's always brought me great happiness to hear that they are enjoyed for pleasure and relief from a host of ailments. (Unless they are consumed in greater than recommended doses, in which case it's a waking nightmare playing at half speed; a paranoia-infused silent scream of death on repeat, but, you know, that's gonna happen. Did I say only eat half? Yes, I did. And did you eat four instead? Yes, portion control-challenged 'murican, you did.)

The downside of this work is that making cannabis infused oils and butter makes my house smell like I have set fire to a cubic yard of sweaty gym clothes dipped in three-week-old sulfur pellet cat litter. And cleanup is a major drag; time consuming and messy.

My cooking process takes days, needs to be minded like a 12-year-old with pyromaniac tendencies, and the straining of gallons of simmering oil and water mixed with a pound or more of cannabis trim is why I have patches on my hands that look like I'm a clumsy steel mill worker with depth perception issues.

So I was intrigued when I received the MagicalButter.com machine, which is a true game changer for anyone seeking to make cannabis-infused butter, oils, tinctures and topicals. It's about the size and shape of a 1-gallon old school coffee percolator, with a stainless steel finish and black-accented handle and top. The top comes off to reveal a mixing blade and digital temperature gauge and sensors. It's a solidly built machine, with a heft that belies its size.

Operating it is so simple a child could do it—but it's a machine you use to make cannabis-infused products, so I question your decision-making skills if you do let a child do so. You add your plant material (i.e your pot weed), and cover it completely in the fat of your choice, or glycerin if making tincture. You select your temperature, ranging from "no heat" to 220F, and then select the brewing time of 1, 2, 4 or 8 hours.

That's it. Go live your life for a while because the machine doesn't need you to do anything until it's done. At timed intervals, the machine quietly turns on the mixing blade for 30 seconds or so, but aside from that, silently sits doing its thing. You can make between 2 to 5 cups of finished product per cycle—more than enough for most any home cook.

I called the 1-800 support number my first time using it, and asked about just how much cannabis I could shove in there. The customer service rep I spoke with said that as long as the "plant material" was fully submerged in liquid of no more than 5 cups, it was up to me.

The lid fits tightly enough that unless I was standing next to the device, I couldn't smell anything.

How much did the finished product vary from my normal manner of preparation, consisting of water, fat and cannabis? Because that method washes away much of the chlorophyll and taste of the cannabis, the Magical Butter Machine produced an oil that was darker in color with a more pronounced weed taste. The cookies I made had a darker green coloring to them, and the cannabis taste was more noticable, but by no means unpleasant. I haven't made a tincture or topical yet, but that's next on deck.

The machine retails for about $180 although I easily found discount codes online. The box states that the warranty is void if purchased through Amazon.com or Ebay, so if you pull the trigger, make sure to buy directly from the website.

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