SR 141716, a selective central CB1 cannabinoid receptor antagonist, markedly and selectively reduces sucrose feeding and drinking as well as neuropeptide Y-induced sucrose drinking in rats. SR 141716 also decreases ethanol consumption in C57BL/6 mice. In contrast, blockade of CB1 receptors only marginally affects regular chow intake or water drinking. The active doses of SR 141716 (0.3-3 mg/kg) are in the range known to antagonize the characteristic effects induced by cannabinoid receptor agonists. These results suggest for the first time that endogenous cannabinoid systems may modulate the appetitive value of sucrose and ethanol, perhaps by affecting the activity of brain reward systems.