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Former Hampshire commando sets up CBD oil business now worth £5M

28 November 2023
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The Business Magazine article image for: Former Hampshire commando sets up CBD oil business now worth £5M
Farard Darver in Afghanistan

A former army commando and boyband star, who now lives in Lymington, Hampshire, has created a company selling CBD oil now worth £5 million.

Farard Darver, 45, is the founder (in 2019) of Wimborne-based Healthcare International Research Ltd. He has turned down eye-watering offers for the company and received backing from businessman Sir Ian Prosser and ex-Ruffer Investment director and partner Tim Youngman.

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But the firm's story starts when Darver suffered a leg injury after his vehicle hit a Taliban trap during an operational tour of Afghanistan.

He underwent three operations on his left leg, culminating in a total hip replacement and tried everything to manage the pain, finally discovering CBD.

"Getting injured in Afghanistan thwarted my ambition of joining the special forces but I used the tools the army gave me to plan the business and launch it," said Darver.

"My best friend suggested trying CBD oil. He was living in the Czech Republic where the healing effects of CBD were discovered in 1955 and it was really good. It actually worked. I’d tried everything else.

"Although I stayed in the army after the first two operations I was never the same and after using CBD I decided I had to leave and set up my own business – the CBD was that good.

"Before I left the army I did my research and prepared as much as I could, then after leaving I invested everything I had. I even sold an Indian ring and bracelet my father had given me for my 18th and 21st birthdays.

“My house was at risk and I had a wife and two children and then just as I launched the business Covid came."

Darver said the products became "really popular because they are entirely natural and unlike other CBD oils you don’t ingest them".

"They are topically absorbed through the skin via transdermal penetration; this is what makes them unique. There is no need to swallow anything - just rub it onto your skin.

“The products are formulated at molecular level by Czech scientists and are unique and have won many awards."

His company sells two brands - HEMPE for health and wellness and MotherSage - for beauty and skincare.

"The HEMPE products provide natural relief for sore muscles, joints and inflamed skin. And the MotherSage range does amazing things for general skincare," he added.

Darver is the son of an Indian airline pilot and moved to Ireland aged 11 when his father became one of Ryanair’s first flyers.

Farard Darver, centre, in his boyband days

After school he sang with boybands Men2B and Area 4, supporting Westlife and other Irish stars and even hitting the charts.

He moved back to England and worked as a solo artist before deciding to make a big career change and ended up going to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

He was commissioned into the Royal Logistic Corps and ultimately became a Green Beret Commando.

CBD is a chemical found in the cannabis plant but without the psychoactive THC element.

Visit Hampshire Biz News for bright, upbeat and positive business news from the county


Giles Gwinnett is a writer at The Business Magazine. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and covered a vast array of topics at a range of media settings - in print and online. After his NCTJ newspaper training, he became a reporter in Hampshire before moving to a news agency in Gloucestershire. In recent years, he has been covering the financial markets along with company news for an investor-focused web portal. His many interests include politics, energy and the environment. He lives in Dorset.

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