Presynaptic cannabinoid (CB1R) and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR2/3) regulate synaptic strength by inhibiting secretion. Here, we reveal a presynaptic inhibitory pathway activated by extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) that mediates CB1R- and mGluR2/3-induced secretion inhibition. This pathway is triggered by a variety of events, from foot shock-induced stress to intense neuronal activity, and induces phosphorylation of the presynaptic protein Munc18-1. Mimicking constitutive phosphorylation of Munc18-1 results in a drastic decrease in synaptic transmission. ERK-mediated phosphorylation of Munc18-1 ultimately leads to degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Conversely, preventing ERK-dependent Munc18-1 phosphorylation increases synaptic strength. CB1R- and mGluR2/3-induced synaptic inhibition and depolarization-induced suppression of excitation (DSE) are reduced upon ERK/MEK pathway inhibition and further reduced when ERK-dependent Munc18-1 phosphorylation is blocked. Thus, ERK-dependent Munc18-1 phosphorylation provides a major negative feedback loop to control synaptic strength upon activation of presynaptic receptors and during intense neuronal activity.