In a word, LEVO is about 'control.'
So says the chief creative officer of the countertop oil infuser that's taking the cannabis space by storm.
"We’re really trying to give control to the [cannabis] consumer: control over their own ingredients, control over the potency, and control over what they make," Olivia Harris tells Civilized.
What really differentiates LEVO from other cannabis oil-and-butter-infusion devices on the market, however, appears to lie in what it lacks.
The brand promises: “no messy straining or clean-up and no more emulsifiers, solvents or additives required to infuse.” It also doesn’t include pre-set temperature and time settings, “allowing you complete creative control over your recipe.”
In a nutshell, it’s designed to “make infusing cannabis foolproof, so that anyone can do it”, says Harris.
LEVO users simply pack the pod with herb, pop it in the reservoir, add oil, set their desired time and temperature, and let LEVO do the rest of the work. The result, according to Harris? A “cannabis butter that tastes like butter or a cannabis oil that tastes like oil – rather than tasting like grass.”
It’s a far cry from the DIY infusions of yesteryear, which Harris describes as a “totally delicate process” with seemingly endless variables.
“You have to stand over it and watch it, and you never really know how strong it’s going to turn out. [Not to mention] that if you’re doing it on a double broiler, for example, you risk burning your ingredients, which can ruin the entire infusion,” she says.
“Giving control to the consumer is really what’s driving this for us ... We wanted to make a product that was accessible to people who don’t have dispensaries nearby, who don’t live in legal states, who need their medicine.”
Cannabis is far from the only herb you can infuse using LEVO, however. While cannabis is “the most obvious use for LEVO”, says Harris, many people have also used the machine to make oils infused with garlic or basil or lavender.
“People have been making a lot of salves and skincare products, which we weren’t necessarily expecting but it’s been really cool to see,” she says.
Harris adds that, in a way, this component of LEVO helps to squash the stigma around cannabis use.
“We have a saying at LEVO that ‘an herb is an herb is an herb’, which is kind of like saying that cannabis is an herb – just like basil, just like garlic, just like lavender – that has its own nutritional and medical properties and benefits,” she says.
“We really want to normalize cannabis and bring it to the world of holistic health, to the whole foods consumer, so that they understand it has benefits just like every other plant.”
This mission partly informed how LEVO was designed. The sleek countertop appliance looks more like a coffee machine than anything else. That was the point, says Harris.
“It’s really meant to look like a mainstream appliance rather than something that’s used for weed. We want you to leave it on your counter and it can mean one thing to your kids and another thing to your friends when they come over at night to make brownies,” she says. “We’re really trying to make it very accessible in that way.”
You can order LEVO in various colors - including black, avocado and rose gold - for $199. The company has also recently released a series of accessories including herb blocks, which allow users to refrigerate or freeze their concoctions and pop them out for individual servings; an herb press, which allows users to "easily extract all the goodness from your infusion" in one fell swoop; and the power pod, a double-sized herb pod that increases the potency of your infusions.
"We've gotten so much great feedback and it's helped us figure out how to improve the product," says Harris. "The accessories are aimed at improving the ease of infusing and storing and all those things. We're constantly thinking about innovation and how to develop LEVO further."