The (-)- and (+)-isomers of the cis- and trans-Ph/Me 1-(1-phenyl-2-methylcyclohexyl)piperidines have been synthesized and the achiral cis- and trans-Ph/Me 1-(1-phenyl-4-methylcyclohexyl)piperidines were prepared, and their in vitro [displacement of [3H]TCP (1-[1-(2-thienylcyclohexyl)]piperidine) from the PCP (1-(1-phenylcyclohexyl)piperidine) binding site] and in vivo (rotarod assay) activities determined. The 1-(1-phenyl-2-methylcyclohexyl)piperidine isomers were resolved by classical crystallization procedures, through the diastereomeric salts obtained with d- and l-10-camphorsulfonic acid. The relative stereochemistry of the cis- and trans-Ph/Me 1-(1-phenyl-2-methylcyclohexyl)piperidines and the achiral cis- and trans-Ph/Me 1-(1-phenyl-4-methylcyclohexyl)piperidines was established by using 13C and 1H NMR. Both (-)-trans-1-(1-phenyl-2-methylcyclohexyl)piperidine ((-)-2) and (+)-trans-1-(1-phenyl-2-methylcyclohexyl)piperidine ((+)-2) were examined by single-crystal X-ray analysis, and the absolute configuration of (-)-2 was determined to be 1S,2R. The (-)-2 was found to be about five times more potent than PCP in vitro and twice as potent in vivo. It is the most potent of all of the simple methyl-substituted cyclohexyl PCP isomers and is among the most potent PCP-like compounds which have been synthesized. It was nine times more potent in vitro and four times more potent in vivo than (+)-2. The racemic cis-1-(1-phenyl-2-methylcyclohexyl)piperidine (3), and its enantiomers ((+)-3 and (-)-3), were essentially inactive in vitro and in vivo. The cis-Ph/Me 1-(1-phenyl-4-methylcyclohexyl)piperidine (18) was more potent than trans-Ph/Me 1-(1-phenyl-4-methylcyclohexyl)piperidine (17), but considerably less potent than (-)-2. The enantioselectivity observed at the PCP binding site for (-)-2 could indicate that this site can discriminate between enantiotopic edges of the achiral PCP (choosing the pro-1-S edge), as does the mu-opioid receptor in the prodine series of opioids. Benzimidoyl or benzoyl group replacement of the phenyl ring in the 1-(1-phenyl-2-methylcyclohexyl)piperidine series gave compounds which showed little in vitro and in vivo activity.