In the past year, I’ve become a huge fan of modded Minecraft. Such a dizzying array of add-ons are available for the deep and versatile game that it should come as no surprise that enterprising coders have found a way to bring cannabis to Minecraft too. The result: Herblore.
While Herblore is inventive, I must criticize it for missing the core essence of cannabis, which is the plant’s versatility. While the mod allows players to harvest either buds or hemp from the ‘toke plants’ it adds to the game, the uses of these products are remarkably limited: the buds can only be used to “get high,” and the ‘hemp’ can only be turned into hemp paper, which in turn is only useful for rolling joints.
This not only sends the wrong message; it’s just plain wrong. A more accurate mod — let’s call it ‘CannaCraft’ — would combine the genetic engine of bees with Herblore’s plant-based structure to allow players to breed specialty strains of cannabis according to two major types: industrial and medical.
Industrial strains could be bred for seed, fiber or hurd. Seeds can be baked into food or pressed to make industrial oils necessary for advanced technology. Fiber can be made into paper, clothes, rope, etc. Hurd can be made into advanced composite materials. Indeed, these are just the beginning of the possibilities.
Medical strains can be bred to make medicines which heal the player’s hearts, but come with side effects which sap the hunger bar (to be fair, Herblore incorporates the munchies, too). With some breeding effort, players can develop high-CBD strains which reduce these side effects while preserving the healing benefits of medicine.
In an adjunct to Thaumcraft, players could even breed medical strains which provide a little extra ‘inspiration’ for extra research points, but players run the risk of ‘forgetting’ points in other research areas.
The possibilities are rich for a deep mod which educates players rather than perpetuating archaic stereotypes which celebrate intoxication over the plant’s many uses. Minecraft would be the perfect platform with which to educate the public about an accurate picture of this remarkable plant.
(PS: While I myself have no coding skills, I hereby offer my services as a consultant for any coders interested in taking on this project.)