Terpenes and Terpenoids
The second group of active ingredients in Cannabis are the Terpenes and Terpenoids. Terpenes are volatile hydrocarbon compounds that give off strong scents, while terpenoids have a more complex molecular structure.
Terpenes and terpenoids have natural protective functions in the plant kingdom – they attract pollinators, repel pest and also stave off diseases. Some terpenes have been found to have antifungal properties, fighting off mould in the cannabis plant and indeed many other types of plant.
The soothing and sedating properties of Cannabis Indica varieties are due to its higher ratio of terpenes, the result of evolutionary processes. The reason for this is most likely to combat the onset of mould and other diseases, due to the harsher native climates on the periphery of the Hindu Kush.
The list of Terpenes and Terpenoids is extensive, however the most important Terpenes (in no particular order) are as follows.