A series of experiments investigated the behavioral and hedonic effects of the synthetic cannabinoid CP 55,940 in male Wistar rats. CP 55,940 had a biphasic effect on locomotor activity, with a 10 micrograms/kg dose causing locomotor stimulation and a 100 micrograms/kg dose causing profound hypoactivity. CP 55,940 (100 micrograms/kg) also caused a marked hypothermia for at least 3 h following administration, while lower doses (2.5 and 10 micrograms/kg) had no effect. CP 55,940 (100 micrograms/kg) had anorexic and hyperdipsic effects for up to 24 h following administration and caused significant reductions in body weight. CP 55,940 (100 micrograms/kg) also caused significant avoidance to a flavoured fluid (saccharin) with which it was paired. In the conditioned place preference paradigm both the 10 micrograms/kg and 100 micrograms/kg doses of CP 55,940 produced significant place avoidance. It is concluded that CP 55,940 is aversive to rats. The possible mechanisms underlying this aversion are discussed.