Cannabis is the most widely used illicit drug in many developed societies. Its health and psychological effects are not well understood and remain the subject of much debate, with opinions on its risks polarised along the lines of proponents' views on what its legal status should be. An unfortunate consequence of this polarisation of opinion has been the absence of any consensus on what health information the medical profession should give to patients who are users or potential users of cannabis. There is conflicting evidence about many of the effects of cannabis use, so we summarise the evidence on the most probable adverse health and psychological consequences of acute and chronic use. This uncertainty, however, should not prevent medical practitioners from advising patients about the most likely ill-effects of their cannabis use. Here we make some suggestions about the advice doctors can give to patients who use, or are contemplating the use, of this drug.