The present study was designed to explore the relationship between the cannabinoid and opioid receptors in animal models of opioid-induced reinforcement. The acute administration of SR141716A, a selective central cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist, blocked heroin self-administration in rats, as well as morphine-induced place preference and morphine self-administration in mice. Morphine-dependent animals injected with SR141716A exhibited a partial opiate-like withdrawal syndrome that had limited consequences on operant responses for food and induced place aversion. These effects were associated with morphine-induced changes in the expression of CB1 receptor mRNA in specific nuclei of the reward circuit, including dorsal caudate putamen, nucleus accumbens, and septum. Additionally, the opioid antagonist naloxone precipitated a mild cannabinoid-like withdrawal syndrome in cannabinoid-dependent rats and blocked cannabinoid self-administration in mice. Neither SR141716A nor naloxone produced any intrinsic effect on these behavioral models. The present results show the existence of a cross-interaction between opioid and cannabinoid systems in behavioral responses related to addiction and open new strategies for the treatment of opiate dependence.