The news that Republican former Speaker of the House John Boehner has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, which cultivates and dispenses cannabis in 11 states, makes it jaw-droppingly clear that marijuana is not just for stoners anymore.

With weed’s upgrade from life-destroying felony to mainstream commodity occurring at a meteoric rate, the wide array of the plant’s non-intoxicating uses and applications provides the most telling illustration of how absolutely wrongheaded the prohibition of marijuana and hemp was.

There is no shortage of weird and engaging non-recreational uses, breeding a feverish new era of all-American go-getter conceptualizing, just like the sort that produced one of the most striking examples decades back — Henry Ford’s Hemp car. The legend of Ford’s early 1940s Hemp Mobile, constructed of a plastic made from hemp (marijuana’s masculine, non-flowering cousin) and designed to run on a special hemp-based fuel, strikingly underscores this.

While the vehicle wasn’t exclusively made from hemp (soybeans and flaxseed also were used), this was the original model for sustainable transport. So, naturally, the concept and prototype model were destroyed and deep-sixed by Ford’s Motor City mogul chums.

Hemp, hailed as “America’s New Billion Dollar Crop” by Popular Mechanics in 1938, has more than 5,000 potential different uses. It's a tremendous resource that’s being shrewdly used in a variety of ways, including pet care products — everything from tug-and-chew toys to leashes, collars and bedding are being made from hemp. Even as the “should medical marijuana be legalized for pets?” debate rages (and it does), these eminently practical day-to-day uses can keep Fido in good condition for the time being.

And it must be noted that after 77 years of ridiculous prohibition, 2014’s Industrial Hemp Act allows farmers to once again legally grow the amazing crop.

Dazey Hemp's Tonya Watts; Credit: Courtesy Dazey Hemp

Dazey Hemp's Tonya Watts; Credit: Courtesy Dazey Hemp

Dazey Hemp, run by rad Alabama bombshell Tonya Watts, exemplifies the weed’s bold new 21st-century application, offering everything from Hemp & Dead Sea Mineral beauty crème, touted as a miraculous compound when applied to the hide, to a variety of loungewear and yoga apparel. “Cannabinoid creams will be the next big thing for anti-aging,” Watts says. “The good news is they really work, and we will be seeing a lot of these cannabis beauty products in the near future.”

Comic-actor Whoopi Goldberg’s medical cannabis venture, Whoopi & Maya, has a line that features bath salts for aching muscles and menstrual cramps and a body balm for menstrual pain that promises to have that monthly discomfort evaporating like a cloud of smoke. As Goldberg told L.A. Weekly, “This isn't about getting [women] high, it's about getting them to be able to go to work and school and to function.”

Whoopi Goldberg and cannabis edibles maker Maya Elisabeth launched a line of PMS-fighting cannabis products.; Credit: Timothy White © 2016

Whoopi Goldberg and cannabis edibles maker Maya Elisabeth launched a line of PMS-fighting cannabis products.; Credit: Timothy White © 2016

Papa & Barkley Releaf Balm is another prime medical product. The CBD-infused cream, ballyhooed as being “tougher than pain,” is an all-natural, botanical balm that is infused in a coconut oil soak process said to be unmatched for potency and terpene content. The balm also can be useful as an anti-inflammatory — the user may cop a light buzz but the focus here is to stave off discomfort, not induce a soporific state of sofa-hogging turpitude.

CBD oil is the true profound up-and-comer. The non-intoxicating extract is proving almost miraculously efficacious in treating epileptic seizures and also has produced dramatic anecdotal results in autistic children, according to reports. Following a few days of low CBD doses, 3-year-old Puerto Rican Kalel Santiago went, in a case reported in 2016 by Free Thought Project, from a completely nonverbal state to full-blown babbling speech, telling his parents “I love you” for the first time. With an entire spectrum of potential applications, CBD has emerged as one of the most powerful and beneficial uses of cannabis.

For those more focused on the recreational side, what could be more innovative than ARC Innovations’ electric self-igniting pipe? This allows you to eschew the vape's infamous proclivity to explode in your face when relying on good old-fashioned caveman-style fire. After inventor Lou Cirillo watched a buddy fumbling with a lighter while attempting to light up on a ski chairlift, he said, as a joke, “‘The pipe should just light itself.'” Putting word to action, he whipped up a prototype, quickly perfected it and subsequently took a $50,000 purse at a recent cannabis convention’s Shark Tank–style competition.

From the practical to the ridiculous, Dutch company Cannadom produces green condoms infused with a cannabis flavor. Despite the fact that it’s a simulation (cannabis oil would essentially melt any latex prophylactic), these are so popular that they are perpetually sold out, apparently taking the pursuit of protection to an even “higher level.”

Then there’s Foria’s Pleasure Oil, a THC-laced lubricant that promises to not only stimulate the nether regions but also significantly elevate the intensity and duration of user climaxes. A blend of sundry cannabinoids and coconut oil, the stuff’s user reviews tout a variety of refreshingly lurid claims (“multiple orgasms over a 15-minute span,” and the more blunt “Holy Shit, is this STILL Happening?”). Just for sheer mystique alone, Foria definitely takes the cake (and eats it, too).

With cannabis, the sky’s the limit. As Dazey Hemp's Watts says, “I wear it, drink it, juice it, eat it, vape it, smoke it and condition my hair with it!”

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