Research #16

After a successful market launch in Canada, USA and most recently Europe as well, True Leaf Medicine International Ltd.’s hemp-fused dog chews were well-received by the market according to today’s news. True Leaf now also offers online shopping for its products in both Canada and USA, which channel may increase sales significantly. The pet market is a multi-billion-dollar industry with impressive growth rates globally. True Leaf’s innovative product line consists of 3 different formulas, including hemp, curcuminoids, polyphenols, L-theanine, chamomile, lemon balm and green tea. The pet foods market offer tremendous revenue potential if you happen to have the right product at the right time with the right team in the right markets. True Leaf has all of that, and much more (a pipeline of new products and distribution channels to say the least). 


Start Spreadin’ the News: True Hemp Dog Chews a Hit in Manhattan

The only hemp-based pet product at the Cannabis World Congress generates a New York-style buzz

Press-Release from True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. (CSE: MJ) on June 29, 2016

New York, NY – June 29, 2016 – From capturing the headline in the New York Daily News to selling out when they weren’t even for sale, True Leaf International’s True Hemp dog chews were the talk of the town – or at least of the 3rd annual Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo at New York’s Javits Center June 16-17.

When True Leaf CEO Darcy Bomford and Marketing VP Alison Ruks turned up at the True Leaf booth, a crowd had already gathered, and to their surprise, people wanted to buy the functional chews – even though they weren’t for sale.

“We had to rush-ship the product in overnight to keep up with the demand,” said Alison. “The response overwhelmed all our expectations.”

While they were busy filling orders from their impromptu storefront, the True Leaf team made time for interviews with Sports Illustrated and The New York Daily News, which led its story on the expo with “Hemp-infused dog biscuits peddled at New York cannabis expo.”

“Dogs are finally getting a real treat”, the story began, featuring an interview with Alison on the benefits of the True Hemp treats for dogs.

When they weren’t talking about True Hemp with the media or selling the display to Congress attendees, the True Leaf team even picked up a new retailer in Hell’s Kitchen.

The New York reception might have been a bigger surprise but True Hemp was just coming off a similar reception when it was unveiled for the first time in Europe, at the recent InterZoo pet supply exhibition May 26-May 29, in Nuremberg, Germany.

The Cannabis World Business Expo is big -- InterZoo is bigger: the world’s leading exhibition of supplies for pets. More than 37,000 visitors caught up with the latest in pet care from over 1,700 exhibitors from more than 60 countries. True Leaf’s booth at the Canadian pavilion was met with non-stop interest from distributors in countries all over Europe. Bob Hanson of True Leaf’s European sales and marketing team said: “I have never seen so much real interest in a new product at InterZoo, it really does look like we have something special!”

Next up for the True Leaf team: the Superzoo show this August in Las Vegas. The company has a booth secured at the popular event and is looking forward to another great response to the popular new True Hemp line. True Leaf now offers online shopping for True Hemp dog chews in both Canada and the USA at

About True Leaf Medicine International Ltd:
True Leaf Medicine International Ltd., through its wholly-owned subsidiary ‘True leaf Pet’, has entered the $104.9 billion global pet care industry with a line of hemp-focused pet chews and supplements marketed through natural pet health and veterinary channels in Europe, Canada and the US. The company has also filed an application under Health Canada’s Marihuana for Medicinal Purposes Regulations (MMPR) to become a Canadian licensed producer through its ‘True Leaf Medicine’ subsidiary. It has passed through the preliminary and enhanced screening process of Health Canada’s review and is currently awaiting security clearance and ‘pre-licensing inspection’ approval.

Media Contact:
Paul Sullivan
BreakThrough Communications
Phone: +1 604-685-4742
Mobile: +1 604-603-7358



Nervous pups can get doggone stoned on hemp-infused biscuit peddled at New York cannabis expo

´Olivia Hamilton with her dog "Tobias the Doodle" at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition Thursday at the Javits Center. (ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

By Patricja Okuniewska and Leonard Greene for New York Daily News on April 16, 2016

Dogs are finally getting a real treat.

Among the new products being introduced at the cannabis expo at Manhattan’s Javits Center is a hemp-infused dog biscuit that manages to bite back.

“If a dog has generalized anxiety or is just a bit hyperactive this will definitely bring them down a notch,” said Alison Ruks, vice president of operations and marketing for Canadian-based True Hemp, a medical marijuana production and distribution company.

“It’s also great for situational anxiety so trips to the vet, trips in the car and the Fourth of July.”

Alison Ruks from True Leaf promotes hemp-infused dog treats at The Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition on Thursday at the Javits Center. (ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

The three-day Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo wrapped up Thursday after a series of presentations, seminars and keynote speeches.

Among the featured guests was former Giants star Leonard Marshall, who moderated a panel discussion on the use of marijuana to treat chronic brain injuries suffered on the field.

“People are now being able to witness and see that this is a viable business,” Marshall said. “It’s not just a pothead convention.”

Former New York Giant Leonard Marshall delivers his keynote speech on the last day of the expo. (ANDREW SAVULICH/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)

Super Bowl quarterback Jim McMahon, who guided the Chicago Bears to a title in 1985, said medicinal pot helps his arthritis, headaches and shoulder pain.

“I’m here because I believe in this plant,” McMahon said. “They keep calling it a drug. It’s a medicinal herb. To me, it’s better for you than the pills I was eating for so many years.”
Ariel Bornstein, 28, a writer, from Chelsea, said the doobie is finally getting its due.

“I think a lot of people are getting introduced to something they didn’t know before,” Bornstein said. “To see it represented so professionally is very important for the movement.”



INFOGRAPHIC: Most of world owns pets; Dogs are tops 

Argentina, Mexico and Brazil have highest percentage of pet owners, followed by Russia and USA

By on May 31, 2016

Globally, the majority (57%) of consumers own pets, according to more than 27,000 online consumers whom GfK surveyed in 22 countries.

Dogs are the most popular pet globally, owned by 33% of respondents, with cats coming in second, at 23%. Fish (12%), birds (6%), and other pet types (6%) all rank significantly lower.

Argentina (82%), Mexico (81%) and Brazil (76%) have the highest rates of overall pet ownership among the 22 countries, with dogs being the most popular pet in all three nations. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK and USA.

The US ranks fifth for pet ownership and third when it comes to owning cats. Almost three-quarters (70%) of US consumers have at least one pet, with 50% owning dogs and 39% cats.

The research shows significant similarities in pet ownership metrics among US men and women. Only 28% of men and 31% of women report not owning any pets. In results that echo the global averages, men and women report almost identical levels of ownership for dogs (52%, men; 48%, women), cats (40%, men; 38%, women) and fish (12%, men; 10% women).

Asian countries appear to have the smallest percentage of their online population who own pets. In South Korea, just 31 percent report having any pet living with them, followed by Hong Kong at 35 percent and Japan at 37 percent.

“Although the Asian countries come lower in this list, these countries comprise a significant and growing share of the global pet market,” said Pushan Tagore, vice president of pet care research at GfK in a press release. ”This is due to the overall size and growth rate of their human population… Looking at data from our full range of pet care research, the key markets to watch over the next 12 months are China, India and LATAM. In these markets, rising disposable income is moving consumers away from table scraps and home cooked food for dogs and cats and towards prepared pet food. This is being driven by the convenience factor, as well as rising awareness of the need to feed their pets with the appropriate nutrition.”

To gather this data, GfK conducted an online survey of over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. Fieldwork was completed in June 2015, and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15 and over in each market.



US, Europe account for two-thirds of pet food spending 

Most of the US$70 billion spending goes to dogs

By on March 3, 2016

According to a new GfK analysis, pet food spending globally represents a roughly US$70 billion industry, with nearly two-thirds of sales taking place in the US and Europe. And dogs account for the lion’s share of that spending.

Watch an on-demand webinar, “How worldwide pet food sales contrast with the US market.”

GfK collects point-of-sale (POS) data from pet specialty retailers in 11 countries, with other key countries and markets planned for launch. The analysis shows that the US pet food market delivers the majority of these sales – approximately one-third, with some US$24 billion yearly, followed at US$20 billion (currency converted) from European countries.

Dogs represent roughly 80% of food spending, even though they are actually outnumbered by cats, population-wise, in the US and Europe. The sales distribution among wet, dry, and treat SKUs can vary widely from country to country; Dog Dry, the market leader globally, accounts for 45% of spending in the UK, compared with 80% in the Czech Republic and 74% in South Africa.

In Greece, dry food accounts for 93% of all pet food sales – 32% for cats and 68% for dogs. France follows closely, at 90%, and Spain has 80% dry sales.

Among China’s dog owners, small bags (less than 1 kg) are top sellers, representing 76% of all Dog Dry sales there; this is due to the popularity of small or toy breeds in China’s urban areas. (GfK’s pet specialty panel in China is focused on pet food sales in Shanghai and Bejing.) For Cat Dry, the US has almost completely moved away from the extra-large (larger than 10 kg) bags that are still popular in the other countries.

There are also important regional differences in container types. The US has a strong preference for canned products, while all other countries show high shares for other packaging types, such as trays and pouches. For cats specifically, 94% of all Cat Wet sales in the US are attributed to canned products, while the average for all other countries in this analysis was just 37%. In France, South Africa, China and Great Britain, the vast majority of Cat Wet food is sold in pouches.

And most interestingly, the much-discussed “natural” trend in pet food is almost exclusively a US phenomenon, with natural SKUs accounting for 69% of all dollar sales in the Pet Retail channel there. The closest to this total across the globe is the UK, at 38%, followed by the Czech Republic (22%) and Greece (20%).

Natural also has captured 68% of shelf space in the US, compared to just 34% in the UK and 20% in Greece. In the Czech Republic, natural sales outpace actual shelf space devoted to the category, suggesting the potential for further sales growth – perhaps an indicator of opportunities in other regions, as well.

“Our analysis points out opportunities for the different regions to learn from each other’s successes,” said Pushan Tagore, vice president, global marketing, Pet Care. “Natural and grain-free, for example, seem to offer opportunities for Great Britain, Czech Republic, and Greece; but labeling issues and regional attitudes may hold these categories back in other countries. And the US, in turn, might learn something from Australia and New Zealand, where raw is a well-established category.”



Report: Pet food annual spending at US$26.7 billion
Growth is being driven by old and young age groups

By John Gibbons on on April 18, 2016

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) has released its “Mid-Year Update of the Consumer Expenditure Survey” covering the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

The most recent report shows pet food annual spending at US$26.7 billion (Food & Treats).

There was a period of minor price deflation beginning in December 2013 and continuing through May 2014, which could be a factor in the essentially flat sales from 2013 to mid-2014.

Prices rose slightly in the second half of 2014 and were stable in early 2015. This contributed to the turnaround by the end of 2014 and the growth by midyear of 2015 – up US$3.8 billion, 16.6% from a year ago.

The growth is being driven by the old and young, especially ages 55-64 and 25-34. However, there is significant growth in the under-35 group (millennials) and the 55-74 group (mostly boomers). One big factor in the small decrease in the 45-54 age group is that there are 267,000 fewer households.

There are 600,000 more households in the over 75 age group. This may indicate that 75 is the threshold for declining pet ownership.

This data was compiled by John Gibbons of



Report: Millennials will be major pet market consumers
Packaged Facts says the next decade will see millennial consumers playing a more significant role

By on March 8, 2016

The future of the pet market belongs to millennials, according to a new report, “Millennials as Pet Market Consumers,” from Packaged Facts. In the report, Packaged Facts shows why millennial consumers will play an even more significant role in the pet industry over the next decade.

The accelerating aging of the American population threatens to shift the consumer landscape for the pet industry because pet ownership traditionally has declined precipitously after age 60. In addition, the population of 40- to 54-year-olds – an age segment with a relatively high propensity to own and spend money on pets – is expected to decline. Millennials will account for an ever growing share of pet expenditures in the years ahead because they represent a large population cohort that will be entering a stage of life when expenditures on pet products and services jump dramatically.

The report highlights how the essential economic optimism of millennials augurs well for the pet industry. For example, Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Survey data cited in the report show that pet owners in the 18- to 34-year-old age group are much more likely than those in the 35-and-over age group to expect to spend more for pet products and pet care services during the next few years. The report also shows how millennial pet owners differ sharply from their counterparts in the 35- and-over group and demonstrates why and how marketers of pet products and pet care services need to be attuned to the expectations of millennial pet owners as consumers. In some ways, the consumer behavior of millennial pet owners simply reflects their overall consumer orientation and behavior. For example, when it comes to shopping for products for their pets, millennial pet owners are much more likely than other pet owners to be tethered to their smartphones to compare prices and products and to use mobile apps to scan a QR code to get promotions or discounts when buying pet products.

Moreover, millennial pet owners are generally less concerned than other pet owners about brand loyalty. According to Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Survey data cited in the report, this consumer characteristic crosses over into the approach millennials take when they buy food for their pets. Compared with pet owners in the 35-and-over age group, millennial pet owners are much less likely to think it is important to “get the specific brands I want” when shopping for pet products and are far more likely to have tried a new brand of dog food in the last 30 days.

The report shows that millennials also stand alone in comparison to other pet owners when it comes specifically to the care and feeding of their pets, For example, millennial pet owners are much more likely to use raw pet food or pet foods with formulations geared toward enhancing the health of their pets. Compared to pet owners in the 35-and-over age group, millennial pet owners are more likely to trust in their own ability to take care of the teeth of their pets at home and consequently are much more likely to purchase pet oral care/dental hygiene products.

Scope of the report

This report focuses on millennial pet owners (those in the 18- to 34-year-old age group). When referring to pet owners who are 35 years old and over, the report interchangeably uses the terms “other” pet owners as well as those “in the 35-and-over age group.” The report analyzes trends in the growth of the population of millennial pet owners, provides a demographic profile of millennial pet owners, analyzes their attitudes toward their pets and highlights their pet care practices. The report highlights the consumer behavior of 18- to 34-year-old pet owners, including their buying power, retail channels favored for pet product purchases, shopping behavior and pet product preferences. It also includes an assessment of marketing approaches that work with millennial pet owners.


Consumer data in this report come from two primary sources. The first source is the Packaged Facts National Online Consumer Survey conducted in April, August and November/December 2015 and February 2016. These surveys reflect a panel of 2,000 U.S. adults (age 18+) that is balanced to the national population on the primary demographic measures of gender, age bracket, race/ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, presence or absence of children in the household and household income. Another source of consumer data in this report is the Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) for Summer 2015 (and Spring 2007 for trend analysis tables) from Experian Marketing Services. On an ongoing basis, Experian Marketing Services conducts booklet-based surveys of a large and random sample of consumers (approximately 25,000 for each 12-month survey compilation) who in aggregate represent a statistically accurate cross-section of the U.S. population. The report is also based upon data collected from a wide range of industry sources, including company websites, press releases, trade publications, business newspapers and magazines and consumer blogs.



Pet food acquisitions follow patterns in human food

By Debbie Phillips-Donaldson for on March 8, 2016 

When Nature’s Variety, maker of raw and other natural pet foods, announced on May 12 that Agrolimen of Spain was purchasing its remaining shares (after initially investing in the St. Louis, Missouri, USA-based company two years ago), it marked yet another chapter in an ongoing saga in the pet food industry: that of a large, multinational, traditional company buying a much smaller specialty company, often operating in the natural space.

This narrative is also playing out in human food—and in fact, many of the large acquirers have both human and pet food divisions. Besides Agrolimen, which also owns Affinity Petcare as well as GBfoods and Eat Out on the human food side, numerous other examples exist, such as Mars, Nestlé and J.M. Smucker.

A few days ago, I came across an article in the Chicago Tribune: “As tastes shift, Big Food devours smaller, health-focused companies to survive” by Greg Trotter, about large food companies buying smaller, natural-based ones. I was struck by how much the acquisitions resemble what has happened in pet food.

“Such corporate marriages are becoming increasingly common in a changing food landscape, where large, traditional food companies are gobbling up smaller, nimbler firms already established in the coveted realm of food considered to be natural, organic and healthy,” Trotter wrote. “The authentic product stories and trusted brands that resonate with health-focused consumers often are easier to buy than to create in a lab.”

Hmmm, sounds very familiar, as do some of the reactions to acquisitions that Trotter described: “The social media reaction was both swift and expected last year when news broke that Oreo-maker Mondelez International acquired Enjoy Life Foods, the Chicago-based manufacturer of health-conscious foods free of common allergens. After all, Mondelez is a Big Food giant known for its processed foods. Enjoy Life Foods, by comparison, is a young company successfully catering to the fast-growing market of health-focused consumers. The two companies couldn´t be more different.”

Trotter quoted the CEO of Enjoy Life, Scott Mandell, saying people commented that he and his company had “sold out,” and the new parent company would change everything.

Here’s the pet food version, after Nestlé Purina acquired Merrick Pet Care not quite a year ago. “Within hours of the Nestlé-Merrick announcement, comments—mostly negative—were flying on social media,” I wrote shortly after. “Merrick’s Facebook pages received thousands of posts for several days, with many lamenting the company’s ‘selling out’ to a larger corporation of which many commenters apparently have a very low, even adverse, opinion.”

Yet so far, Nestlé seems to have stuck by its promise to let Merrick operate as an independent business—just as it has with Zuke’s, the small, natural pet treat maker it purchased in early 2014. What’s more, Nestlé’s vast resources have allowed Merrick to keep its product development engine revved in high gear and for Zuke’s to come out with its first pet food line.

This, too, mirrors a pattern seen in the human food industry. “And wary of screwing up a good thing, large food manufacturers are often giving the smaller companies they acquire freedom to operate independently, along with access to abundant resources in sales and distribution,” Trotter wrote. “For companies like Enjoy Life, the impact of such deals can be transformative.” He added that the latter company operates as a wholly owned subsidiary, making its own business decisions—“an arrangement stipulated by Mondelez, not the other way around," Mandell said.

Don’t break what’s not broken

Trotter related a cautionary tale of what can happen when the parent company does interfere in its acquisition’s business, the path that cereal giant Kellogg’s eventually followed after it acquired natural cereal maker Kashi. At one point, the parent company began to treat Kashi more as a brand than a separate entity, according to a former executive quoted by Trotter, folding its sales function into the corporate structure about seven years after the acquisition, then six years later, moving Kashi into its headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA. Sales dropped precipitously (also partially because of economic factors), and the Kashi business, now back in California, USA, is just beginning to turn around.

We have seen similar scenarios play out in pet food acquisitions, most notably after Procter & Gamble purchased the Iams Co. in 1999 and eventually took the premium Iams and Eukanuba brands, previously dedicated mainly to the pet specialty retail channel, to mass market. P&G adopted a similar strategy with the Natura Pet Care brands California Natural and Evo after acquiring them in 2010, with a series of product recalls contributing to a perception of lower quality, too. (Mars Petcare, which acquired most of P&G’s pet food business in 2014, announced earlier in 2016 that it is rededicating the former Natura brands exclusively to the independent pet specialty channel.)

Nature’s Variety CEO Reed Howlett says his company will continue to operate as a standalone business in its St. Louis headquarters, adding that Agrolimen’s ownership will not affect the smaller company’s philosophy, culture or daily operations. Let’s hope that is how this corporate marriage plays out, which seems to be the best strategy for all involved—including consumers and their pets—to win.

Some players in human food acquisitions apparently have learned that lesson. As Trotter quoted an executive with General Mills describing its strategy after buying organic foods maker Annie’s in 2014: “Let’s not break what’s not broken.”



Hemp is Not Marijuana

True Leaf’s pet product line contains hemp as one of the primary ingredients; providing the health benefits of hemp is what sets True Leaf apart from the competition. Hemp anCd marijuana are different varieties of the same plant species of ‘Cannabis Sativa’. Marijuana plants contain high levels of THC. Hemp, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive and contains very little THC (less than .3% by law), but certain cultivars contain cannabidiol (CBD). Hemp seed oil, a major component of hemp seed itself – and of True Leaf Pet’s product line – has a variety of beneficial properties and is showing great promise on its own as a supplement. Because hemp oil is extracted from the industrial hemp plant, it contains no psychoactive reactors.

Hemp seed oil is extremely high in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the ratio of 3:1, which is required by dogs for optimal health and well-being. Hemp contains known antioxidants from tocopherols and hosts a variety of other beneficial properties including anti-inflammatory compounds from terpenes, plant sterols and methyl salicylate – a relative of acetylsalicylic acid or ‘aspirin’. Hemp oil helps to support the moisture level in a dog’s skin and fur, and supports the body‘s ability to heal skin disorders such as dry nose, dog acne, dog eczema, dog rash and dog dandruff. Further, hemp seed oil supports the body‘s ability to enhance blood circulation, stimulate a dog’s cognitive thinking and can help thicken fur texture and lessen shedding.

Hemp is legally refined in industrial factories for textile and nutritional use: it is often consumed and mixed into other products including cereal, granola bars and hemp dog treats. Hemp chews for dogs are increasing in popularity because of its significant potential health benefits that may include joint pain reduction, skin and coat nourishment and antioxidant support.  



Introduction to Hemp

Cannabis sativa L., most recognizable as the source of marijuana, has been an important and sustainable resource for thousands of years1-5. For legal reasons, research and product development of both narcotic and non-narcotic varieties have been suppressed for most of the 20th century5.

Different varieties and parts of the Cannabis plant have been used for a multitude of purposes. These include fiber from the main stalk, narcotic drugs from the flowering parts, and oilseed. Oilseed has numerous uses which include human food, livestock feed, nutritional supplements, industrial oils, and occasionally biofuel5.

Appropriate nomenclature is commonly misused when referring to Cannabis. For clarification purposes, Cannabis sativa is typically labelled as “hemp” when used as a source of fiber, “hempseed” when used as a source of seed oil or seed meal, and “marijuana” when used for narcotic, recreational, or therapeutic drugs5. “Industrial hemp” refers to non-narcotic varieties of the crop grown for fiber or oil. These by definition contain less than 0.3% THC on a dry-matter basis. THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the well-known psychoactive cannabinoid (CB) found in Cannabis plant6. Marijuana contains high amounts of THC, or more than 0.3% THC on a dry-matter basis. THC is a CB of concern because it is known to cause toxicosis with considerable morbidity in dogs7. However, the THC lethal dose in rats, mice and dogs, is approximately 1000 times higher than the lowest dose known to reproduce toxicity symptoms in these animals8, 9.

Hempseed products, such as hempseed oil and hempseed meal, are derived from the achenes or fruit of the Cannabis plant. Hempseed meal powder is currently a major human food product in Canada, and it is derived from sieved hempseed meal10. The new True Leaf product line provides an easy to administer source of hempseed for dogs. It is important to note, that the majority of information here on the nutritional components of hemp products has been derived from studies on hempseed oil.

Hemp as a Nutraceutical

“The word “nutraceutical” is a combination of terms describing nutrition or the use of nutrients and “cuticles”(from “pharmaceutical”), simply meaning nutrients that have a therapeutic effect on the body11.

Hempseed meal has been used as a source of dietary protein by a variety of species12,13. Albumin and edestin are the two main proteins in hempseed, and both are rich in amino acids essential to human and animal health14. An examination of hempseed, egg white and soy bean amino acid profiles concludes that hempseed protein is comparable to these high quality proteins14. Arginine and glutamic acid are also found in especially high levels in hempseed14.

Hempseed oil has a unique fatty acid profile, which can contain over 80% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)10. The essential fatty acids (EFAs) are abundant in hempseed oil; desaturation products of the EFAs, such as stearidonic acid (SDA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), are found in hempseed oil as well15. These fatty acids are not commonly found in most of the oils used in the human diet. Studies in humans have reported health benefits associated with consumption of these fatty acids in cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and some types of dermatitis16-18. Additionally, SDA has been found to have anti-tumorigenic effects in human cancers19,20, and may have chemosensitizing effects on canine lymphoid tumor cells21.

As a plant based oil, it is important to mention that hempseed oil does not contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), two beneficial PUFAs found in fish oils. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) alone in humans, dogs, and cats is not an efficient source for conversion into EPA and DHA22-24. SDA, provided in hempseed oil, has a superior ability to convert to EPA over ALA25.

Additionally, it is important to consider the metabolic competition of the EFAs, and therefore the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 (n6/n3). An n6/n3 balance between 2:1 and 3:1 is suggested, and thus, the typical ratio found in hempseed oils is optimal at 2.5:115, 26, and 27. This makes hempseed oil a beneficial additive to an n6/n3 balanced diet, as it will not disrupt of the optimal n6/n3 ratio.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that has several desirable properties that are seen without psychoactive effects28. It has been found to be present in hempseed oil at low levels of 10 mg/kg29. CBD is not explicitly produced within the achenes, however traces of contamination in hempseed products have been reported30. Although the level of CBD within hempseed products is typically small, it may still be a beneficial dose29. Just some of the many actions of CBD include anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, anti-cancer, and neuroprotection from antioxidant effects31-40. With current research, the knowledge of CBD action and efficacy is constantly expanding.

Other components found within hempseed products like terpenoid compounds, may also add to hempseed health benefits29. Similar to CBD, the presence of terpenes is most likely the result of contamination from processing, however even at their low concentrations, they may be significant. Terpenes have been cited as having anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, and cytoprotective pharmacological properties41.

Current information regarding dosing hempseed products for beneficial effects in dogs is unavailable. Multiple studies, however, have been conducted on the use of hempseed products for animal feed in poultry, bovine, caprine and aquatic species. These have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of hempseed products in animal nutrition. For example, studies in laying hens did not see adverse effects on laying performance and egg sensory characteristics13,42,43. A study in fistulated cows and lambs concluded hemp meal was a good source of rumen undegraded protein, with high post-ruminal availability12. A study in steers found diets containing 14 % hempseed had no negative effects on gain, gain to feed ratio and carcass traits44. In a comparative study with soybean-meal and barley, hempseed cake as a protein feed resulted in similar production and improved rumen function45. In a ten week feeding study on juvenile sunshine bass, the use of hempseed meal in the diet had no negative effects on performance46.

In conclusion, hempseed is a good source of protein and fatty acids with additional components including cannabidiol and terpenoids. It has been found to be a safe and efficacious additive in animal feed for a variety of species. For these reasons, hempseed is the focus of True Leaf’s nutraceutical product line for dogs.


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2. Xiaozhai, L; Clarke, RC. The cultivation and use of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) in ancient China. J Int Hemp Assoc. 1995. 2;1:26–33.

3. de Padua, LS; Bunyaprafatsara, N;. Lemmens RHMJ. Plant Resources of South-East Asia: Medicinal and Poisonous Plants. Leiden, Backhuys Publishers, 1999. 1;12:167–175.

4. Pringle, H. Ice age community may be earliest known net hunters. Science. 1997. 277:1203-1204.

5. Small, E. Evolution and Classification of Cannabis sativa (Marijuana, Hemp) in Relation to Human Utilization. Bot. Rev. 2015. 81:189-294.

6. Clark, RC and Watson DP. “Cannabis and Natural Cannabis Medicines.” Marijuana and the Cannabinoids. Ed. Mahmoud A. ElSohly. Humana Press, 2007. 1-18.

7. Meola, SD; Tearney, CC; Haas, SA; Hackett, T; Mazzaferro, EM. Evaluation of trends in marijuana toxicosis in dogs living in a state with legalized medical marijuana: 125 dogs (2005–2010). J of Vet Emergency and Critical Care. 2012. 22;6:690-696.

8. Grotenhermen, F. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of cannabinoids. Clinical Pharmacokinetics. 2003. 42:327-360.

9. EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP). Scientific Opinion on the safety of hemp (Cannabis genus) for use as animal feed. EFSA Journal. 2011. 9;3:1-41.

10. Callaway, JC and Pate, DW. “Hempseed oil.” Gourmet and Health-Promoting Specialty Oils. Ed. Robert A. Moreau and Afaf Kamal-Eldin. American Oil Chemists Society Press, 2009. 185-213.

11. Goldstein, RS. “A Modern Approach to Therapeutic Nutraceuticals.” Integrating Complementary Medicine into Veterinary Practice. Ed. Robert S. Goldstein. Wiley Blackwell, 2008. 13-67.

12. Mustafa, AF; McKinnon, JJ; Christensen, DA. The nutritive value of hemp meal for ruminants. Can. J. An. Sci. 1999. 79;1:91-95.

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Company Details

True Leaf Medicine International Ltd.
100 Kalamalka Lake Road, Unit 32
Vernon, BC V1T 9G1, Canada
Phone: +1 778-389-9933

Shares Issued & Outstanding: 52,800,371

Canadian Symbol (CSE): MJ
Current Price: $0.305 CAD (June 28, 2016)
Market Capitalization: $16 million CAD

German Symbol / WKN: TLA / A14NM1
Current Price: €0.21 EUR (June 28, 2016)
Market Capitalization: €11 million EUR



Analyst Coverage

Research #15 “Hemp for Dogs: True Leaf from Canada brings a special treat to the worlds leading trade-show Interzoo“ 

Research #14 “True Leaf pushes the gas pedal and brings True Hemp to Europe“

Research #13 “True Leaf conquers the US Pet Food Market” 

Research #12 “True Leaf To Sell Hemp-Based Products in 3500 Stores in the US” (March 29, 2016)

Research #11 “True Leaf‘s Product Line Now Available in 47 Canadian Retail Stores” (February 9, 2016)

Research #10 “True Leaf‘s Selling Fast” (December 10, 2015)

Research #9 “True Leaf Expands to Europe” (November 2, 2015)

Research #8 “True Leaf Unveils New Product Line” (September 17, 2015)

Research #7 “Another Key Piece for the True Leaf Puzzle” (September 8, 2015)

Research #6 “True Leaf Pet’s Hemp Chew Product Line to be Distributed Across Canada” (August 12, 2015)

Research #5 “Interview with True Leaf‘s CEO Darcy Bomford“ (August 6, 2015)

Research #4 “One Step Closer Becoming A Licenced Medical Marijuana Producer“ (July 21, 2015)

Research #3 “True Leaf on its way to production“ (June 5,2015)

Research #2 “True Leaf To Enter The Pet Food Market With Hemp Products In Fall of 2015“ (April 9, 2015)

Research #1 “True Leaf Medicine International Ltd. Goes Public“ (February 9, 2015)

Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.

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Name: True Leaf Medicine International Ltd.
Canada Symbol: MJ
Germany Symbol / WKN: TLA / A14NM1
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 52,800,371
Phone: +1 778-389-9933

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